Ghana has replaced South Africa as the largest gold producer on the African continent, which is no longer news for smart and important mining investors. Ghana s mining industry is almost all gold mining.
Ghana s gold production can be traced back to the colonial period, although the output was small at that time, until the 1970s and 1980s, Ghana began to open up mineral resources and carry out exploration work.
Today, several world s top gold giants have established gold mining bases in Ghana to participate in gold exploration and mining. These large gold mining companies include Gold Fields Limited, Toronto-based IAMGOLD Corp, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Golden Star Resources Ltd and Newmont Mining Corporation. Other important companies that are conducting gold exploration in Ghana include Adamus Resources Ltd., Xtra Gold Resources, African Gold plc, Perseus Mining Limited, Moydow Mines International Inc. and Pelangio Mines Inc.
Although Ghana s recent actions against illegal gold mining are in full swing, Ghana still leaves huge investment potential for legitimate gold investors. Some of the major gold mines currently operating in the country include:
As the top gold producer in Africa, Ghana has a considerable number of gold mines being mined or constructed. Other important mines include Bogoso Gold Mine, Prestea Underground Gold Mine, Ahafo Gold Mine and Damang Gold Mine.
From December 17, 2018, the government of Ghana officially lifted the ban on small-scale gold mining, allowing small-scale gold mining enterprises in Ghana that have been audited by the Ghanaian government and have full certificates to resume mining.
However, the Ghanaian government also emphasized that lifting the ban on small-scale gold mining is not lifting illegal gold mining. Any gold mining that is not approved by the Ghanaian government is illegal. The lifting of small-scale gold mining is only for citizens of Ghana. It is still illegal for foreigners to participate in small-scale gold mining.
As a result of Structural Adjustment Programme from the 1980s, many developing countries have experienced an increase in resource extraction activities by international and transnational corporations. The work reported here examines the perceived impacts of gold mining at the community level in the Wassa West District of Ghana, Africa and discusses those perceived impacts in the context of globalization processes and growing multinational corporate interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Interview data compared community members' perceptions with those of company representatives in three communities. The results indicate that communities held companies responsible for a series of economic, social, and environmental changes. While recognizing some of the benefits brought by the mines, communities felt that the companies did not live up to their responsibility to support local development. Companies responded by denying, dismissing concerns, or shifting blame. Findings from this work show that lack of engagement and action by government agencies at all levels resulted in companies acting in a surrogate governmental capacity. In such situations, managing expectations is key to communitycompany relations.
ICLG - Mining Laws and Regulations - Ghana covers common issues in mining laws and regulations including the acquisition of rights, ownership requirements and restrictions, processing, transfer and encumbrance, environmental aspects, native title and land rights in 15 jurisdictions.
The Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) (as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 900) and the Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450) are the principal enactments setting out the framework of mining law. They express the basic position that minerals in their natural state are owned by the State. They also outline the licensing scheme for mineral operations, the incidence of the various mineral rights and the powers of the principal regulatory institutions. The following pieces of subordinate legislation add detail in specific areas to the regime set out in the principal legislation: (a) Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2173); (b) Minerals and Mining (Support Services) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2174); (c) Minerals and Mining (Compensation and Settlement) Regulations (L.I. 2175); (d) Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2176); (e) Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2177); and (f) Minerals and Mining (Health, Safety and Technical) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2182).
Environmental legislation, including that relating to forest protection, water bodies and water use, tax legislation, customary law relating to land tenure, the law of corporations, contract law and administrative law principles concerning the exercise of governmental power, are all relevant to the mining industry.
Pursuant to the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978), the Minerals Income Investment Fund (the Fund) was established with an expressed objective of, among other things, monetising the value of Government revenue from mining. The Fund is to be resourced through income generated from the countrys equity interest in mining companies, mineral royalties and other related income from mining operations. The provisions of Act 978 empower the Fund to create and hold equity interests in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in any jurisdiction, procure the listing of the SPV on reputable stock exchanges, assign or transfer rights to its sources of income and to grant security over its assets. The Government is reported to be engaged in negotiations with an entity called Agyapa Royalties Limited (Agyapa) in a proposed transaction in terms of which the Government would receive an upfront payment of monies in exchange for Agyapa acquiring rights to future royalties to be generated from certain identified companies in Ghana who have been granted mining leases.
The Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995) introduced amendments to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), including that which seeks to prevent foreigners from providing mining support services to small-scale miners and imposes stiff punishment for the sale or purchase of minerals without a licence and for the facilitation of small-scale mining by foreigners. We understand further amendments are proposed to Act 703 which would reduce the duration of a development agreement with the Government from 15 to 5 years, introduce gender considerations into employment in the mining sector, and provide stiffer punishment for aiding foreigners to evade the restrictions on their involvement in small-scale mining. No bill has yet been published in respect of these proposals and until that is done, the legislative process, which includes the gazetting of such bill and its laying before Parliament to undergo consideration and three readings, would not have commenced.
The Chamber of Mines proposes to assist mineral refineries in the country to receive international accreditation so as to help market their products. The object is to reduce the reliance of mining companies in Ghana on foreign refineries and thereby save the country the costs of foreign exchange.
The rights required are: (a) a reconnaissance licence; and (b) a restricted reconnaissance licence to engage in reconnaissance in relation to an industrial mineral, i.e. basalt, clay, granite, gravel, gypsum, laterite, limestone, marble, rock, sand, sandstone, slate talc, salt and other minerals as the Minister may from time to time declare, by notice published in the Gazette, to be industrial minerals.
The rights required to conduct mining are: (a) a mining lease; (b) a restricted mining lease to engage in mining for an industrial mineral; and (c) a small-scale mining licence for the conduct of small-scale mining. The mining lease permits its holder to engage in reconnaissance and prospecting.
No, although there are different eligibility criteria for different rights. In particular, non-Ghanaians are prohibited from engaging in small-scale mining. The threshold for engaging in industrial mineral operations is higher for non-Ghanaians than for Ghanaians.
Foreign entities cannot directly hold mineral rights, though entities they incorporate in Ghana can hold mineral rights. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865) has minimum investment requirements for non-Ghanaians. Where the foreign investor has a Ghanaian partner, the foreign investor is required to contribute at least US$200,000 to the equity of the entity and the Ghanaian partner must hold not less than 10% of the equity. A foreign investor in a business that it solely owns is required under Act 865 to invest a minimum of US$500,000. The minimum capital requirement may be met in cash or capital goods relevant to the investment. A foreign investor cannot engage in operations relating to industrial minerals unless it commits in its proposed programme to invest at least US$10 million in the operations.
A person who intends to become the controller of an entity which directly or indirectly holds mineral rights is required to obtain a no objection notice from the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources before becoming such controller. A controller is defined to mean a person who, either alone or with an associate or associates, is entitled to exercise, or control the exercise of more than twenty per cent of the voting power at any general meeting of the mining company or of another company of which it is a subsidiary. The entity and the exiting shareholder are also required to notify the Minister, respectively, of the change in control of the company or of ceasing to be controller.
A small-scale mining licence may only be granted to a citizen of Ghana who is at least 18 years old, and is registered by the office of the Minerals Commission in an area designated as a small-scale mining area.
The State is entitled to 10% free carried interest in an entity engaged in mining. This does not preclude the Government from any other or further participation in mineral operations that may be agreed with the holder of the mineral.
Additionally, the Minister may, by notice in writing to a mining company, require the company to issue to the State a special share in the company for no consideration. The special share is meant to give the Government, inter alia, the power to veto decisions relating to the liquidation of the company or disposal of the whole or a material part of its assets. To the best of our knowledge, since this provision was first introduced, the special share has only been taken on one occasion in the context of the State reducing its interest in a company in which it previously held majority shares.
The Minerals and Mining Act requires a licence from the Minister for the sale, export or other disposal of a mineral. Under the Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2173), an application by a holder of a mining lease for a licence to export, sell or dispose of gold or other precious minerals produced by the holder must be accompanied by a refining contract and a sales and marketing agreement.
An application by a person other than a holder of a mining lease, to purchase and export, sell or dispose of gold or other precious minerals, requires the applicant to satisfy the Minister that the minerals will be refined or polished in Ghana or that only refined or polished minerals will be purchased for export, or that a percentage of the minerals will be supplied to local users. In practice, as there is very little refinery capacity in Ghana, this requirement is hardly enforced.
A transfer, assignment, mortgage, or encumbrance of a mineral right or any dealing in relation to a mineral right requires the prior written approval of the Minister. The approval should not be unreasonably withheld or given subject to unreasonable conditions. Further, the Minister is required to communicate a decision on the application within 30 days of receipt of the application; otherwise, the Minister, upon request from the applicant, must give reasons for failing to do so.
A reconnaissance, prospecting or mining right may be mortgaged or secured, subject to the approval of the Minister. If the mortgagor defaults and the mortgagee forecloses, the mortgagee acquires the mineral rights subject to the approval of the Minister.
Mineral rights may be held in undivided shares. However, given the requirement of local incorporation referred to in response to question 3.1 above, the general practice is for those jointly involved in the venture to be allotted shares in the corporate entity which holds the mineral rights.
A holder of a mineral right cannot explore for or mine a mineral that is not the subject of the mineral right. If the holder desires to explore for or mine any other mineral, the person must apply to the Minister to amend the right to include such other mineral.
A mineral right holder is only entitled to exercise rights in respect of the minerals to which its licence relates. To exercise rights over residue deposits (tailings), additional rights are required.
The holder of a mineral right is entitled to enter onto the land for the conduct of the mineral operations. However, it is required to exercise its rights subject to the surface rights of the owner or occupier of the land.
The holder of a mineral right is required to exercise the rights granted subject to the surface rights of the owner or occupier of the land. The owner or lawful occupier of land retains the right to graze livestock upon or to cultivate the surface of the land if the grazing or cultivation does not interfere with the mineral operations in the area.
The holder of a mineral right is also required to compensate the owner or lawful occupier for the disturbance of the surface rights of the owner or lawful occupier. The compensation may be monetary or by way of resettlement, the cost of which shall be borne by the mineral right holder. Where people have to be displaced, there is a constitutional obligation to resettle them.
Where land is required to secure the development or utilisation of a mineral resource, the President may acquire the land or authorise its occupation and use subject to the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation.
Act 703 also gives the Minister the power of pre-emption in respect of all minerals raised, won or obtained in Ghana. The exercise of this power is subject to the constitutional provisions regulating expropriation and to the terms of agreements entered into with mineral rights holders. In any case, that power has not, to the best of our knowledge, been exercised in more than 30 years.
The Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (L.I. 1652) require that there be (a) a reclamation plan, and (b) a bond to secure implementation of the work plan approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
A reconnaissance or prospecting licence requires the holder to comply with terms which typically include an obligation to rehabilitate the land. In respect of a mining lease, the holder is required, before closing a mine site, to satisfy the Chief Inspector of Mines that each source of potential pollution and component of the mining operation that is to be closed is designed to be stable in the long term.
The holder of a mining lease is required to: (a) ensure that discharge/emission of polluted water, air or dust does not occur from the closed mine site; (b) submit a mine closure plan to the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission for approval; and (c) within 12 months after the closure of the mine, rehabilitate mining areas which are no longer required for the mining operations.
In respect of mining, the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) prohibits the carrying out of any physical development without a permit granted by the District Planning Authority. A physical development is defined under Act 936 as carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations on, in, under or over land, or the material change in the existing use of land or building and includes sub-division of land, the disposal of waste on land including the discharge of effluent into a body of still or running water and the erection of advertisement or other hoarding.
In the standard mineral right agreement, the holder is prohibited from conducting any operations in a sacred area. It further requires the written consent of the Minister to conduct its operations: (a) within 100 metres of any forest reserve, river, stream, building, installation, reservoir or dam, public road, railway or area appropriated for a railway; (b) within 30 metres of a pylon; and (c) in an area occupied by a market, burial ground, cemetery or Government office, or situated within a town or village or set apart for, used, appropriated or dedicated to a public purpose.
In Ghana, land is mostly owned by individuals, extended families and communities presided over by chiefs who hold the land in trust for their members. These members are entitled to exercise surface rights over and appropriate portions of these lands in accordance with customary law. They must be compensated by the mineral rights holder for interference with their rights. The right to compensation includes compensation for: (a) deprivation of the use or particular use of the natural surface of the land or part of the land; (b) loss of or damage to property; (c) loss of earnings or sustenance suffered by the owner or lawful occupier of land under cultivation having due regard to the nature of their interest in the land; and (d) loss of expected income, depending on the nature of crops on the land and their life expectancy. No claim for compensation lies in respect of the value of a mineral.
Given the importance of the mining sector to the Ghanaian economy, mining was listed as an essential service and therefore exempted from the lockdown imposed by the Government of Ghana in the months of March and April 2020. Mining companies have therefore been able to operate during the lockdown, though they have had to implement additional health and safety controls.
The Minerals Commission is required to and does maintain a register of mineral rights in which it records applications, grants, variations and dealings in assignments, transfers, suspensions and cancellations of mineral rights. The register is open to public inspection on payment of a prescribed fee and members of the public may, upon request to the Commission and on payment of the prescribed fee, be provided a copy of the records.
Further, the interest in minerals conveyed by a grant is required to be stamped and registered within 21 days of being granted with either the Land Registry or the Land Title Registry (depending on the area in which the mineral right is located). Copies of the stamped and registered documents are required to be provided to the Minerals Commission.
The prerogative remedies known to the administrative law of common law jurisdictions are available under Ghanaian law. These are available to enforce constitutional duties of candour and fairness imposed on public officers.
Yes. Under the Constitution, 1992, every mineral in its natural state in, under or upon any land in Ghana, rivers, streams, water courses throughout Ghana, the exclusive economic zone and any area covered by the territorial sea or continental shelf is the property of the Republic of Ghana and is vested in the President who holds it on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.
Grants of rights to exploit minerals are subject to ratification by Parliament and have been held by the Supreme Court in the recent unreported case of The Republic v. High Court, General Jurisdiction (6), Accra; Ex Parte Attorney-General (Exton Cubic Group Ltd, Interested Party) [Civil Motion Number J5/40/2018] to be void and of no legal effect unless and until ratified by Parliament.
Ghana has signed and ratified investment treaties with China, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Generally, these provide protection to the investments of persons from the contracting parties.
Yes, these rules are provided under sections 77 to 86 of the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896). Act 896 treats income from mineral operations separately from other sources of income and imposes a mineral income tax at the rate of 35% on profits from mineral operations. In ascertaining the assessable income of a person from mineral operations, (a) each separate mineral operation is treated as an independent business, and (b) the tax liability for the business is required to be calculated independently for each year of assessment. For income tax purposes, a mineral operation pertaining to each mine and a mineral operation with a shared processing facility constitute separate mineral operations which are required to be taxed separately.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Directive on the Harmonisation of Guiding Principles and Policies in the Mining Sector prescribes a set of rules and guiding principles to Member States of the Economic Community of West African States. Further, the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, which is scheduled to the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891) as amended by the Customs (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 905), exempts machinery, appliances and apparatus designed for use in mining and dredging from the payment of Value Added Tax on importation.
There is provision for the surrender (abandonment) of a mineral right whether in whole or in part. A holder of a mineral right who wishes to surrender the land subject to the mineral right is required to apply to the Minister for a certificate of surrender no later than two months before the date on which the holder wishes the surrender to take effect. A certificate will not be granted, inter alia, if the holder (a) is in default of its obligations, or (b) does not satisfy the Minister that it will surrender the area in a condition which is safe and accords with good mining practice.
In respect of an exploration or prospecting licence, the holder is required, prior to or at the expiration of the initial term, to surrender no less than half the number of blocks of the prospecting area, so long as a minimum of 125 blocks remain subject to the licence and the blocks form not more than three discrete areas, each consisting of (a) a single block, or (b) a number of blocks each having a side in common with at least one other block in that area. Relief may be granted either in whole or in part against this requirement if the holder of the prospecting licence satisfies the Minister that delay by a Government institution or agency in the issuance of permits or in carrying out a lawful activity resulted in delay by the holder in the discharge of an obligation under the prospecting licence. The period of the relief shall not exceed 12 months and shall be subject to such other conditions that the Minister thinks fit.
The State has a right to cancel or suspend a mineral right for the holders non-compliance with law or obligations under the agreement granting the mineral right. Prior to exercising a right to suspend or cancel a mineral right, the Minister is required to give notice to the holder requiring the holder to remedy the breach complained of within a reasonable period, not being less than 120 days in the case of a mining lease or restricted mining lease, or 60 days in the case of another mineral right. Where the breach cannot be remedied, the holder is required to show cause to the reasonable satisfaction of the Minister as to why the mineral right should not be suspended or cancelled.
Land use conflicts are becoming increasingly apparent from local to global scales. Surface gold mining is an extreme source of such a conflict, but mining impacts on local livelihoods often remain unclear. Our goal here was to assess land cover change due to gold surface mining in Western Ghana, one of the worlds leading gold mining regions, and to study how these changes affected land use systems. We used Landsat satellite images from 19862002 to map land cover change and field interviews with farmers to understand the livelihood implications of mining-related land cover change. Our results showed that surface mining resulted in deforestation (58%), a substantial loss of farmland (45%) within mining concessions, and widespread spill-over effects as relocated farmers expand farmland into forests. This points to rapidly eroding livelihood foundations, suggesting that the environmental and social costs of Ghanas gold boom may be much higher than previously thought.
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We would like to thank the Wassa Association of Communities affected by Mining (WACAM); Ministry of Lands, Forest and Mines; the Office of Administration of Stool Lands; Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Land Valuation Board; Bogoso Gold Ltd.; Opportunities Industrialization Centers International (OICI) for logistic support and guidance during our field campaign. We are particularly grateful to J. Mensah-Pah, S. Boehm, and our local host who accompanied us and made safe and efficient field work possible. TK gratefully acknowledges support by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Save to read list Published by Will Owen, Deputy Editor Global Mining Review, Tuesday, 01 June 2021 10:00
These licenses are comprised of the Diaso (104.1 km2), Juabo (59.2 km2), Manhia (18.69 km2), Dunkwa Gyimigya (32.72 km2), Gyimigya (5.52 km2), Agyaka Manso (40.0 km2), Amuabaka (28.86 km2), and Nkronua-Atifi (24.97 km2) prospecting licenses (PLs). All licenses are being acquired, on an as issued by the Minerals Commission basis, from Goknet Mining Co Ltd pursuant to the terms of agreement with Goknet (dated 28 December 2016).
The concessions were variously explored by Canadian exploration juniors Nevsun Resources, Tri-Star Gold, and Golden Rule Resources in the late 1990s, and most recently by PMI Gold Corp. (now Galiano Gold) from 2002 through August 2014. The rights to the land were then acquired by Goknet.
Extensive work programs consisting of airborne magnetic, electromagnetic and radiometric surveys, ground geophysics, regional silt and detail soil sampling, auger, aircore, reverse circulation and diamond drilling, and advanced exploration/structural interpretations have been completed. Multiple areas with initial discovery drill holes have been outlined for further follow-up by Asante.
The Juabo, Diaso, and Manhia concessions are contiguous/on strike with our Keyhole Gold project, an area which has been the subject of extensive alluvial mining over a 7 km stretch for the past 40 years. Their acquisition will finally allow the company to commence an aggressive exploration program to locate the bedrock source of the gold mineralisation under the Ankobra River a strong northerly trending structure which stretches 200 km from the goldfields at Tarkwa/Prestea to Newmonts Ahafo gold mine.
The company will issue 375 000 fully paid common shares of the company for each of the PLs transferred, up to a maximum of 3 000 000 shares, and reserve for the vendor a royalty equal to 2.0% of the Net Smelter Returns on each of the concessions transferred. Shares issued will be subject to a hold period expiring 4 months and 1 day from the date of issuance. In addition, 80% of the shares issued will be held in escrow and released as to 10% every 3 calendar months after the date which is 4 months and 1 day after the date of their issue.
In this webinar, Chris Pearson, Group Business Development Director at MMD Group, will discuss in detail their Fully Mobile Surge Loader (FMSL), its key requirements, and implementation considerations.
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In this webinar, Chris Pearson, Group Business Development Director at MMD Group, will discuss in detail their Fully Mobile Surge Loader (FMSL), its key requirements, and implementation considerations.