In the last two years, the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) Limited has assayed (valued) a total of about US$12billion worth of gold for both Artisanal Small-scale Miners (ASMs) and the Large Scale Mining firms.
Under government’s new assaying regime that gives PMMC the authority to value all gold before export, it tested, graded, weighed and certified about 122,946.5444 kilogrammes of gold.
Mr. Venance Dey, the Deputy Managing Director of PMMC who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the ASMs alone exported about US$4.8billion.
Large Scale Mining firms thus exported US$7.2billion dollars.
The ASM production figure in 2018 was about US$2.6billion, while that of 2019 was worth about US$2.2billion.
The assaying process, sanctioned by government, is relevant for effectively tracking minerals that leave the country to ensure proper accountability and transparency for government to receive its fair due in taxes.
A media report in February 2018, for instance, highlighted a case wherein some Saudi officials acknowledged gold imports from Ghana as being more than US$4billion; however, records in Ghana showed only US$2billion.
Before 2018, gold mined by the Large Scale Mining firms did not go through the assaying process by any government institution before being exported.
Mr. Dey lauded the assaying centre’s establishment, saying it has helped to streamline the system and is also compelling licenced gold exporters to show their 80 percent repatriation of value in dollar terms.
“Once the companies export gold they must show on their bank statement that 80 percent of the money they earned has been transferred back to Ghana in dollar terms,” he explained.
On non-payment of the withholding tax, he said the PMMC is in consultation with Ghana Revenue Authority and other stakeholders to find avenues that ensure the ASMs pay the three percent tax on gold they produce.
In line with government’s plans to process 30 percent of its gold ore, Mr. Dey said PMMC is building a refinery through a public-private partnership initiative to add value to the gold before it is exported.
The PMMC is the company charged with responsibility to grade, assay, value and process precious minerals.
Through its subsidiary company, PMMC Jewellery Ltd., it also produces jewellery locally for sale in Ghana and overseas.