Accra, Ghana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 April 2008 – The chief executive of the Ghana Minerals Commission, Mr. Benjamin Aryee, has revealed that international mining companies will soon be mandated to pay more than the current 3% in royalties to the West African government.
He is quoted by allAfrica.com as saying in a “meet the Press” interview here that the Minerals Commission and other stakeholders had put together the necessary regulatory framework to ensure that companies contribute more to government coffers.
According to him the regulatory framework would ensure an exact percentage which all mining companies would be mandated to pay in royalties, and he gave the assurance that it would be at a higher level than 3% – “not merely what was convenient for the mining companies.”
Section 25 of the Minerals Act specifies that a holder of a mining lease shall pay royalties that may be prescribed in respect of minerals obtained from its mining operations, and this shall not be more than 6 percent and less than 3 percent of the total revenue of minerals obtained by the holder.
Aryee said it was unfortunate that most of the companies paid the minimum 3% or slightly more as royalties, despite the fact that gold had been selling at an all-time high of more than US$1 000 an ounce.“Given the strong performance of gold on the international market, it was prudent for the government to introduce measures to ensure that the country benefited from sales at higher levels,” he said.
This move by the Ghanaian government follows the news that at the beginning of April Zambia began enforcing its new tax code that will see mining firms pay more in royalties and other taxes.
The mineral royalty has increased from 0.6% to 3%, while corporate tax on the miners has risen from 25% to 30%. Zambia also has introduced a 15 percent variable profit tax on taxable income above 8 percent, and a minimum 25 percent windfall profit tax has been enacted.