Beginning October 2022, gold licence holders are mandated to file monthly returns on all gold purchases in the country, the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) has directed.
This new directive is in line with the PMMC’s efforts and mandate – as the sole assayer of gold in the country – to sanitise, improve and properly regulate the downstream sector of the precious minerals industry. It is also in line with government’s objective to make Ghana a responsible sourcing hub for gold.
The directive, which forms part of a review of certain terms and conditions for the sector by the PMMC, will be closely monitored and evaluated – with defaulting licence holders risking non-renewal of their licences.
“We have had cause to review the terms and conditions for our licence. And so, today, we sensitise you on the new terms and conditions and what is required of you. One innovation we have brought is that you will be required to file monthly returns,” Nana Akwasi Awuah, Managing Director of PMMC, said during a sensitisation workshop held for licenced gold dealers in Accra.
Among other initiatives to encourage responsible sourcing of gold, Mr. Awuah noted, is a pending component of a World Bank-funded project known as Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP) is collaborating with the Minerals Commission to undertake.
“This year, together with the Minerals Commission, we are doing a project that is funded by the World Bank whereby we are developing a traceability system for Ghana’s gold.
“Essentially, what the system will encourage is to trace the chain of custody for gold: right from the miner to the end point. The vision is that we want to reach a point where gold from Ghana will be tagged as responsibly sourced,” he said.
Further explaining the concept of responsible sourcing in the mining industry, the managing director stressed its importance in adding value to the country’s gold, and urged licence-holders to comply with the requirements.
This, if not strictly adhered to, he added, could cause gold from Ghana to be blacklisted on the international market.
“For so many years, when we were shipping gold to Dubai for example, there wasn’t any strict requirement in terms of due diligence, signing paperwork and others. But today, those who export or ship gold to Dubai will appreciate that there is now a lot of paperwork.
“Because there is this whole phenomenon known as ‘Responsible Sourcing’, whereby the global consumers of gold are saying that if you are sending gold outside Ghana, you should be able to tell where the gold came from and trace the chain of custody.
“In fact, if you go to Dubai today with gold and you are unable to meet the due diligence requirements, you will be compelled to dispose of the gold on the black market: and immediately you opt for that option, you will get less value for gold than if you had complied with the due diligence requirements.”
Precious Minerals Marketing Company is the sole assayer responsible for assaying all gold earmarked for export. It is also the implementing agency for the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), an international regulatory regime for the diamond trade.