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Bauxite exports soar
Posted on: 21-Jun-2013         Source: Daily Guide
The export of bauxite by the Ghana Bauxite Company increased significantly by 88 per cent from 400,069 tonnes in 2011 to 752,771 tonnes in 2012.

“The increase in volumes contributed to a significant increase in the corresponding mineral revenue by about 113 per cent from $13,406,433 the year earlier to $28,495,592 in 2012,” Dan Owiredu President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines stated.

He noted that the achievement was due to Ghana Bauxite Company’s decision to haul its ore by road instead of the more cost effective and appropriate rail transport.

He emphasised that “the poor rail infrastructure is a major constraint which could potentially impact the long-term viability and sustainability of the two bulk mining companies in Ghana, namely Ghana Bauxite Company and Ghana Manganese Company.”

Mr. Owiredu disclosed this while addressing the 85th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines in Accra.

He however indicated that export of manganese by Ghana Manganese Company declined by 18 per cent from 1,827,692 tons in 2011 to 1,490,634 tons in 2012.

Therefore revenue from manganese was down by about 18 per cent from $119,920,951 in 2011 to $98,605,517 in 2011, given the relative stability of the price of the mineral over the period.

He attributed the shortfall “to new developments and pit integration to ensure easy maneuvering of mining equipment and also to enable the company mine different grades from different parts of the same pit for optimized blending.”

He stated that figures from the Minerals Commission indicate that the mining industry attracted an amount of $1.0 billion in total investment inflow into the country in 2012.

These investments, he said, came from producing, exploration and support service companies.

The President of the Chamber noted that “total payments from mining industry to the chest of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was approximately GH¢1.5 billion in 2012. This amount represents about 27.04 per cent of GRA’s total domestic collections in the year. The 2012 collection was an increase of 45 per cent on the GH¢1.03 billion it collected from the mining industry in 2011.”

He noted that many mines in the early part of 2013 experienced frequent interruptions and power outage, a situation which he said cost the industry several millions of dollars and threatened their viability.

He therefore called on “government to endeavour to hold our energy suppliers to higher standards of services even as these suppliers request all customers to pay higher energy tariffs.”

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister for Lands & Natural Resources Inusa Fuseini, also stated that government was doing every thing possible to eliminate illegal mining which is degrading the environment.

He therefore appealed to chiefs not to allow any unauthorized persons, group of persons or companies to use their traditional areas for illegal mining.

They should demand their licenses and cross-check from the Minerals Commissions Regional offices to authenticate their papers.”

He also indicated that “plans are far advanced to ensure that the infrastructure in mining areas is improved. And this will be done through direct release of funds from the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) for the purpose of developing mining communities.”

Currently, he said the MDF Bill is at an advanced stage and a formal pronouncement would be made as soon as it is passed by parliament.

He gave the assurance that they would ensure that minerals from the royalties go directly to the mining communities.