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Chamber urges government to develop mining communities

The Ghana Chamber of Mines has called on the government to partner the mining companies to develop mining communities in Ghana.

The Ghana Chamber of mines also disclosed that, despite the meagre percentage of disbursement of the mineral royalty to the communities by central government, the royalties are always in arrears depriving the beneficiary mining communities of development.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney explained in a meeting with the Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfuor in Koforidua on Tuesday that, the proportion of the total royalty which goes directly to the mining districts represent only 4.95% of all mineral royalty payments by the mining companies.

He further disclosed that, in 2016 for instance, mining companies in the country paid mineral royalty of Ghc550 million to Government but only GHC27 million will be returned to the mining district assemblies for development, describing the disbursement as “woefully inadequate for the stimulation of meaningful infrastructural development in the mining communities”.

The Chamber of Mines though happy with government’s commitment to increase the overall proportion of royalty revenue from 10% to 20%, is still requesting government to increase the share to 30% for a fix period to tackle infrastructural challenges in the mining communities.

The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines added that the Passage of the Minerals Development Fund Act(2016) -Act 912, will complement the corporate Social Investment Initiatives ,Trust Funds and other developmental Foundations initiated by the mining companies for their host communities.

He stressed the need for Ghana to enact a Mineral Revenue Management Act to deepen transparency and accountability while providing opportunities to residents in mining communities to apply minerals revenue to the most critical areas of their communities.

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