Mining companies urged to list on Ghana Stock Exchange
President Akufo-Addo (middle) being escorted by Samuel Abu Jinapor (left), Minister of Lands and Natural Resources , to the conference.

Mining companies urged to list on Ghana Stock Exchange

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) and other stakeholders to expedite work on the listing of mining companies on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). 

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He said such a move would ensure that the capital requirement for investment in the mining sector was raised locally to help retain the value of the country's natural resources. 

The President also said the listing of mining companies on the GSE would facilitate the government's vision to build a buoyant mining sector by raising local mining giants. 

Again, he said the move would ensure that the country leveraged the full potential of the natural resource endowments for sustainable development.

The President made the call when he opened a two-day natural resources management national dialogue organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in partnership with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in Accra last Thursday (May 11).

The dialogue, which brought together policy makers, experts, captains of the mining industry and other stakeholders, discussed the challenges confronting the mining, land and forestry sectors and proffered solutions to the challenges. 

Value addition

In his keynote address to the participants, President Akufo-Addo said it was worrying that although the extractive sector had been the largest tax base of the country for several years, "we have not benefitted, optimally, from these resources, due to our overdependence on the export of raw products."

He said the real value of those resources lied in value addition, which was why it was important for companies to list on the GSE to generate capital locally for investment.

"Currently, African countries involved in the production of lithium are said to be making just about 10 per cent of the entire value chain of the electric battery industry.” 

"This is why the government has prioritised local content and local participation, as well as value addition in the natural resources sector to ensure that we derive optimal benefits from these God-given resources," he said.

Leveraging mining sector

For his part, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the Lands ministry was working with the GCM and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ensure that large-scale mining companies listed on the GSE. 

"Already, Asante Gold Corporation has listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, and several other mining companies are in the process of doing so," he said. 

He observed that when more mining companies got listed on the GSE it would put Ghana on the right path to become the mining hub in Africa. 

Touching on other measures meant to bolster the mining industry, he said the government had ramped up local content and local participation in the mining industry by increasing the items on the local procurement list of goods and services reserved for Ghanaians from 29 in 2018 to 50 this year. 

"This will ensure that we retain, here in our country, some US$3 billion annually, which would, otherwise, have been exported," he said. 

Mr Jinapor also said the intervention by President Akufo-Addo to revive the Obuasi Mine in 2019 and the Bibiani mine last year, after seven years of dormancy, was ample evidence that the government was determined to make mining benefit the local people. 

"Three new large-scale mining operations are scheduled to start production within the next two years, including Newmont Ahafo North in the Ahafo Region, Azumah Resources in the Upper West Region, and Cardinal Namdini in the Upper East Region, which, when completed, will become the third largest gold mine in the country," he added.

Strategic investment

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM), Dr Sulemanu Koney, described the move to list mining companies on the GSE as strategic. 

He observed that given the critical contribution of the mining sector to the national economy, it was important for the country to prioritise investment in that area, especially in small-scale mining. 

Dr Koney said it was in that regard that the GCM had been working with other stakeholders to ensure that mining companies list on the GSE. 

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"Regarding our conversation with the GSE, we have advocated that we should make a special regime for every state exploration company to list on the GSE. You do not wait for the companies to be selling at a premium before you say you are going to sell on the GSE. The upside is always better when it is at its infancy and that is why we need to catch them young," he said. 

Dr Koney added that since the small-scale mining sector was key to the country's economy, the best way to sustain it was to generate local capital to invest in it.

"When we use the GSE, people with deep pockets can go in there to invest," he said. 

He added that when there was such investment in the small-scale mining sector, which was reserved for Ghanaians, "We will be able to move them up gradually so that as we move them up, the illegalities will stop." 

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For his part, the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi, said the call for strategic and deliberate investment in the mining sector was crucial, especially so when the resources were finite and would run out at a point.

He stressed that efforts being made to ensure that mining companies listed on the GSE was crucial as it would help to retain more value for minerals in the value chain. 

"We cannot develop as a country when all the money for investment in the mining industry come from outside. There should be a deliberate system that ensures that mining companies list on the GSE; and, luckily, we have completed the process with SEC," he said. 

He also called on institutions that manage pension funds - Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to consider investing in the mining sector to help bolster it. 

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Keynote

Currently, gold accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s total export receipts.

Some 3 million people earn their livelihood from the small-scale mining sector.

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