The Minerals Commission has guaranteed the increased listing of mining businesses on the local stock market, as a step to further promote local content and ensure value retention in the mining sector.
This comes after the transition period for the Minerals and Mining – Local Content and Local Participation Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2431) expired in December 2021. This regulation mandates that as part of the localisation programmes, mining firms must list at least 20 percent of their equity on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
Per the regulations, this will take place within five years after the commencement of mining operations.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, in a discussion on minerals in the country organised by the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) said the regulator will rigorously implement the local content law to ensure more Ghanaian participation, accordingly retaining value in the country.
“The local content law came into force in December 2020. There was a one-year transition period that ended in December 2021. Now Asante Gold has gone ahead of the curve by listing on the market. The law requires that at least a minimum 20 percent of their equity should be listed on the local stock exchange.
“So, we are going to force all of them to list on the stock market,” the CEO said.
The regulator mentioned that, currently, there are engagements regarding a mining licence for lithium – in which it keenly intends to ensure the localisation programme is adhered to according to the new law.
The regulations say that the minister shall, on recommendation of the Commission and in consultation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), determine the limits of local equity for capital expenditure when listing on the Accra bourse.
The regulations further state that the holder of a mineral right whose planned capital expenditure exceeds the limits determined under sub-regulation (1) shall list at least twenty percent of that holder’s equity on the GSE within five years after commencement of mining operations.
Currently, there are two mining stocks listed – AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Asante Gold Corporation – on the local stock market, whereas NewGold is listed as an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Also listed are the Depository Shares of AngloGold Ashanti. In total, this makes up GH¢19.11billion in market capitalisation; about 30 percent of the entire market.
The last company from the sector to be listed on the market was Canadian exploration firm Asante Gold Corporation, which at the end of June this year listed 315 million shares on the main board of the Exchange worth GH¢2.79billion.
In July 2022, Asante Gold Corporation (ASG) completed the first US$100million tranche of a US$140million financing package from strategic financial institutions in Ghana. The initial drawdown of US$100million will be used to cover local operating costs and the company’s near-term broader funding and strategic objectives.
ASG is also in advanced discussions on additional senior secured debt facilities to provide for ongoing sustaining capital, it emerged.