Move by India to help Ghana establish gold refinery criticized

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Golden Empire Legacy Limited, Dr. Mrs Joana Gyan Cudjoe has criticised a move by the the government of India to help Ghana establish a gold refinery in the West African country.

The aim of the refinery is to refine gold in the country and also to create jobs for the youth.

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. George Mireku Duker, said these in an interview with 3FM’s Sunrise on Thursday hosted by Alfred Ocansey.

“We are engaging to find how the gold would be maintained here to create jobs for the youth”, he said.

He added “by the end of November, we may commission the gold refinery.  We were to commission it by the middle of November but from what they are telling me, they are almost 95% done. There are few touches that they are doing and also depending on the president’s schedules, we are hoping to commission it by the end of November 2021.”

Mr. Duker further indicated that “the percentage of ownership has time lines. The Indian government built everything and we provided them with 20%. The 20% is our land but they built everything and that is our commitment”.

“The India government owns 80%. If we retain 20% of the refined gold…if Bank of Ghana is buying the gold, it’s the cost of the refining of the gold that is what we will get 20%. It is the cost of the refining that we have 20% and not the entire gold”.

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He said the project cost $25million which is being solely financed by the India government.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Golden Empire Legacy Limited, Dr. Mrs Joana Gyan Cudjoe

“The cost of putting it up is $25m and it meets international standards. It is located at the heart of Accra, adjacent to the PMC office”.

Mr. Duker said “there is an arrangement for the project. In five years’ time, there is an arrangement for renegotiation to get to 50%-50%. We have space to renegotiate and in another 6-year, we will have the opportunity to renegotiate to buy the entire shares”.

Reacting to this in a statement, Dr Gyan said in a statement that “All these gold leaves the shores of this country with no form of value addition and on top of that some are also smuggled out.”

She added, “We have been mining for over hundred years and the BoG recently was happy to inform the whole world that they have been able to purchase 280kg of Gold and we are talking about a country that is a leading producer of Gold and we satisfied.

“We have the opportunity of putting up refinery which will enable us to add value and ensure we able to maximize the full potential of the value chain of our gold industry.”

She continued, “The unfortunate part is our willingness to dash out 80% of that to the Indians when we could easily have formed a consortium of local gold exporting companies like Golden Empire Lagacy Limited (GELL) to leverage their cash flows to raise the equity required.”

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“This will ensure that returns stay in Ghana and also create the much needed jobs for the youth. Beyond the return on investment, we can issue certificate for the gold and store the refined gold in our banks as is being done in Switzerland.”

Dr Gyan Cudjoe also explained that the talk of diversifying the economy of the country and empowering locally owned companies by the government has been “all talk with no substance if this is the way we are going to do things.”

“There is no paradigm shift from the way we have been doing things and is about time patriots rise and speak to the save the soul of this country from spiralling down into an abyss,”she added

“The youth must rise up and speak against such unconscionable deals that continue to threaten the future of this country. The CSO’s must come together to stop this intellectual galamsey that is being perpetuated on this country through this botched deal.”

She concluded that “We have to change from this business as usual way of doing things that has crippled this economy especially on strategic areas of our economy particularly our natural resources.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana