The Minerals Commission has denied reports that foreign gold buyers are taking over the business of local buyers and exporting the commodity.
The Commission said its records showed that no licensed gold dealer had been granted the privilege of retaining all or part of its earnings outside the country by the Ministry of Finance, the only institution authorised to grant such privileges.
A statement issued by the Commission explained that there were two classes of licenses, namely large scale gold mining leases and small scale mining licenses.
The Commission said the large scale mining companies which did not sell their gold locally, sold it by the spot price at the London Metal Exchange or by other marketing agreements with overseas refineries that had been approved by government.
The Commission said the small scale licensees were required to sell gold from their operations to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) or other gold buyers licensed by government, thus it was the gold from small-scale miners that was sold locally and purchased by licensed gold dealers mainly for export or limited refining.
The statement said gold exports were regulated by the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division) and the Minerals Commission. “The licensing “is not discriminatory between nationality, race, tribe or colour but is done in line with sections 6 and 104 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) as well as Regulation 4 of the Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 (L.I.2173).
“The applicant must meet certain technical and financial conditions without which the Honourable Minister may not grant the license”, the statement added.
It said currently, 20 gold exporters had been granted licenses by the Minister. The breakdown is as follows: 11 Ghanaian exporters representing 55 per cent; 5 Indian exporters representing 25 per cent; one German; one Australian and two Lebanese, all representing 20 per cent.