Mining companies in Ghana have forced the West African country which is the world’s second largest gold producer, into suspending the implementation of the windfall tax introduced in the mining sector in 2012, President John Mahama has revealed.
He told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday that his government has not been able to implement the policy due to threats from the mining companies to layoff many workers should the tax be rolled out.
“They threatened to lay off workers if we implemented the windfall tax and because we needed the jobs and you don’t want workers laid off you are coerced to go along. So these are major issues we have”, he bewailed.
“…They will not allow us to implement a windfall tax in our country”, President Mahama said.
Implementing the windfall tax regime would mean mining companies will be compelled to pay 10 percent of their profits to the Government of Ghana.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines had earlier warned that the windfall tax dampen the resolve of investors in Ghana’s mining sector.
Meanwhile President Mahama informed the forum that over 4700 foreign illegal miners were deported last year.
The miners mainly Chinese were deported following their arrest by the government taskforce on illegal mining.
They were accused of flouting the mining laws by engaging in small scale mining without permits.
President Mahama who disclosed this said government needs technical support to totally flush out illegal miners.
He was opening a session on Responsible Mineral Development Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
“Recently we had an invasion of foreign nationals into the mining sector we had to carry out an exercise to evict them. and so we deported more than 4,700 small scale miners from different countries.”
President Mahama said government is not happy with the agitations from the mining companies over attempts to review the mining regime.