Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa Region Alfred Baku has justified the need for government to continue granting multinational companies the necessary business incentives for their operations.
He argued that records – especially in the gold mining sector – have shown that with the right business climate multinational companies have contributed significantly to the well-being of the country’s economy.
For example, he indicated that before the reforms in the mining sector, the country’s total gold production was about 3,000 ounces.
“If you look at between 1957 and 1983, the state was running most of the operations in Ghana. Because mining is capital intensive and we could not reinvest into these operations, we saw a decline in production. Our total production for these State gold mines in total was about 300,000 ounces…”,
According to him, “if we didn’t actually create that enabling environment, if we didn’t have that transformation to bring the multinationals to come and reinvest in these operations. I think we were actually coming to a halt…this country is actually blessed with huge mineral resources but we need capital to be able to develop them. What did we see when we allowed foreign mining companies into the sector, when they came they reinvested and the production that was 300,000 is now 4.8million ounces”.
Mr. Baku was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the first Ghana Gold Expo in Takoradi in the Western Region.
The Gold Expo held in collaboration with Aurum Monaco, a France-based Gold Refinery, is to promote zero mercury use in gold production and the promotion of best standards practice in the industry.
It is to also create a synergy among stakeholders and build proper structures in gold mining as one of the proponents of gold mining includes the contribution to substantial economic benefits to the mining communities as well as increasing incomes and reducing poverty levels among the citizenry.
Mr. Baku suggested that government should continue to offer the necessary incentives to multinationals for them to expand and in so doing create more job opportunities and also boost the economy of the country.
“It is not only Ghana that is providing incentives to multinational companies. If you go to Gabon, Argentina and Benin similar arrangements exist,” he noted.
“There is huge competition for capital. Like in our operations, we’ve got about eight other operations. And so, if there is a country that will create the environment for them to get returns, then you will bear with me that they are going to push the capital into these operations. So, it is important that we have the incentives.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana