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Ghana is ranked among the world’s top ten producers of gold and 13th among the world’s leading producers of diamond, by volume, in 2010. Between 1998 and 2008 the mining sector attracted an estimated US$7 billion of foreign direct investment. The West African country still lives up to its former name of ‘Gold Coast’ as gold remains central to Ghana’s economy, accounting for more than 80% of the total income from the mineral sector. The country has benefitted from an increase in the global demand for gold and the rising international price in the late 2000s. Bauxite, aluminium, manganese ore, diamonds, trioxide arsenic, hydraulic cement, kaolin, salt, sand and gravel, silica sand, silver, dimension stone, limestone and lime for processing gold ore are also mined. Ghana’s diamond mining industry produces primarily industrial grade gems. Ghana’s mineral sector grew by 10.4% in 2010 and accounted for around 11% of fiscal receipts by the Internal Revenue Service. The mining industry directly employs around 20,000 people, while 6,000 were employed in providing services to the mineral sector, and about 500,000 were employed in small-scale mining of diamond, gold and industrial minerals for the construction sector.
The Minerals and Mining Act (703) 2006 provides the legislative framework for the sector. In March 2011, the Government amended section 25 of this law to allow for the establishment of a fixed 5% royalty rate on total revenues earned from minerals by all companies holding a mining license in Ghana. PricewaterhouseCoopers has calculated that mining companies contribute a lot more to government revenue than just taxes: for every US$1 of corporate income tax contributed, there is another US$1.50 contributed in other amounts. All minerals are owned by the state and the government is entitled to a free-carried equity interest of 10% in all mineral ventures. Unless the proposed investment exceeds $10 million, reconnaissance licenses and mining leases are granted only to Ghanaian citizens in the mining sector.
AngloGold Ashanti Limited, a company with origins in Ghana, is a leading global gold producer with 21 operations on four continents. The company is listed inter alia on the New York (NYSE), Johannesburg (JSE), Ghanaian (GSE), London (LSE) and Australian (ASX) stock exchanges. Other major mining companies operating in Ghana are Newmont Mining, Gold Fields Ghana, Chirano Goldmines and Golden Star. Azumah Resources announced in 2010 that they were establishing a new drilling project in Wa in the north-west of Ghana. The country has become one of the preferred destinations for mining investment, shown by the merger of Ashanti Goldfields and Anglo Gold and the presence of the US mining company Newmont in the country.
The mineral sector is overseen by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, working through the Geological Survey Department, the Minerals Commission and the Precious Minerals Marketing Co. Ltd. The Minerals Commission is responsible for regulating and managing the use of Ghana’s mineral resources and the coordinating government policy in relation to them.
Limestone and granite are both quarried in Ghana. Since the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities in 2010, there has been an increase in mining and quarrying nation-wide, particularly in the Western and Central regions. Atiwa Quarries Limited is the country’s leading granite quarrying firm. Located at Opeikuma in the Awutu-Senya Municipal Area of Ghana’s Central Region, the firm takes up 77 acres of land and creates 400 tonnes of granite chippings per hour. In the space of a month it is expected to produce between 45,000 and 50,000 granite chippings. These chippings have been used to correspond with the nation’s economic growth by increasing the construction of roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, industries, sea defenses and dams. Prime Stone Quarries in Sekondi-Takoradi also produces granite for construction purposes.
The Ghacem limestone quarry at Yongwa was established in May 2004. The quarry provided the Ghacem cement plant with limestone since the firm’s establishment in 2013. The quarry is located at Klo-Begoro in the Yilo Krobo District of the eastern region of Ghana, 92 km north of the Tema factory.