Mining companies in Ghana are estimated to have paid about US$140 million in royalties to the State between January and June 2012, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr. Toni Aubynn, has disclosed.
The amount represents about 19 per cent increase over the figure for 2011 which was about US$115 million.
According to Dr Aubynn, the figure does not include other taxes such as corporate tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and duties which he noted are expected to be significant.
In addition to this, he mentioned that the mining industry voluntarily contributed an amount of about GH˘43 million to host communities and the public last year.
Dr Aubynn revealed this during the Zone II Inter-Mine Safety/First Aid Competitions 2012 held recently at Newmont Ghana Ahafo Mine Site at Kenyasi in the Asutifi District of the Brong Ahafo region.
Touting the contribution of the mining industry to the economy, Dr Aubynn said the industry contributed about GH˘1 billion to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in 2011, representing 27.61 per cent of total GRA collections last year.
Within the same period, the chamber’s CEO said the mining industry returned about US$3.1 billion, representing 75 per cent of their mineral revenue to the country to cater for its local obligations and also to procure inputs locally.
Dr Aubynn further disclosed that the sector last year spent about US$1.4 billion to procure goods locally for their operations, out of which US$310 million was for electric power, US$322 million, diesel and US$771,920,186 for other inputs.
“By such local purchases the industry creates value for the local economy in addition to the royalties, taxes and import duties it pays to the government,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, a search conducted by BUSINESS GUIDE established that the payment of mineral royalties by the government to beneficiary district assemblies and traditional councils in the country ceased for almost a year due to the lack of funds.
Records show that mining companies make prompt payments to the Minerals Commission every quarter.
However, payment to the various assemblies and traditional councils has accumulated since August last year.
This paper can confirm that the non-payment of royalties to the traditional councils and the assemblies over the past year had hampered development projects initiated in those areas.
Of the 10 per cent mineral royalty, 1 per cent goes to the Administrator of Stool Lands for administrative purposes while the beneficiary district assemblies enjoy 55 per cent of the remaining 9 per cent, with only 45 per cent (of 9 per cent) going to the traditional councils for development.