Intensifying the promotion of Ghana’s mining industry, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, has called on the Government of Ghana to tone down on the taxes on exploration to pave way for more investors.

According to him, the only way we can optimize the benefits of the mining industry, is to economically deepen it into the rest of the economy by way of harnessing all the opportunities and linkages between the mining industry and the rest of the economy.

Looking at the different faces of mining, Mr. Kiney explained that, exploration is so critical to the mining industry, and it’s what helps to find the mineral resources in commercial quantities for exploration and it also feeds into proper mining.

“One of the key challenges in exploration which has been with us for years, has to do with the hurdles to exploration, thus, the high barriers for investors to do exploration. Exploration as the name connotes, means that it’s exploratory, you’re finding, you’re looking for it, isn’t it?. And because you’re looking for it, the probability of success is not assured. In fact, we’re told that, the global success rate for exploration is about 10%, others say is 20%. But even if it’s 20%, the risk is very very high.

So, with such high risk endeavour, it’s important to consider the environment and the conditions under which they work. So to ask exploration companies even before they make commercial finds, to be paying taxes, for example VAT on the inputs, for us, it’s quite punitive. And we have been engaging government to say please, tone down on the taxes of exploration.” Mr. Sulemanu Koney noted.

The Chamber of Mines he said, is therefore advocating for Ghana to adopt policies that will optimize the opportunities in the mining industry for sustained development.

“I don’t think that as a people we have leverage the mining industry optimally. There are opportunities for us to do this and the chamber is on course. The Chamber is waging a crusade by engaging whoever will listen to us, we are engaging with the respective Ministers, we are planning to meet with the Economic management team of the country and hopefully we should have a very good conversation as to how to leverage out mining industry for a broader and sustained economic development,” he said.

Mr. Koney placed more emphasis on the fact that, late last year, the West African Countries collaborated to Inaugurate the ECOWAS Federation of Chamber of Mines, which will pave way for the various chambers of mines, including private sector associations of mines, in order to bunch up and identify themselves to work with government and the civil society to reposition the mining industry for more optimal benefits for the people.

He was speaking at the Journalist for Business Advocacy’s (JBA) Annual Media Interaction with the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, organized by the Journalist for Business Advocacy at M-Plaza Hotel in Accra.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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