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The country’s mining sector in 2011 contributed a total of GH¢1.645 billion in tax revenue; Dr. Tony Aubynn, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines has announced.

The figure was made up of internal revenue and corporate taxes.

The sector is ranked as the number one taxpayer and highest contributor to the Ghana Revenue Authority.

During the period, the mining companies also supported communities within their areas of operation to the tune of GH¢43 million.

Dr. Aubynn was speaking at a day’s seminar held for some selected journalists in Kumasi by the Chamber to highlight the body’s critical role to the growth of the nation’s economy.

Foreign Direct Investment inflows into mining from 1983-2011 is put at $6.2 billion and this came from producing, exploration and support services companies.

He said since 2000, the sector had remained the leading foreign exchange earner, accounting for an annual average of 38 per cent.

Significantly, most of the mines continue to return well in excess of the statutory 20 per cent of foreign exchange earnings into the country.

He said, last year for example, the companies returned about $3.1 billion, representing 75 per cent of mineral revenue through the Bank of Ghana and the Commercial Banks.

Dr Aubynn cautioned against excessive taxation of the mines, saying, that could be disruptive and “kill the hen that lays the golden eggs.”

“Mining is highly complex and capital intensive, interruptions through review of existing fiscal regimes (especially without due consultations) distorts the free flow of operations which is detrimental to the mining business.” He said.

National resources by their nature, he noted, are not replaceable and that is why they should be exploited for the benefit of the nation and future generation.

Dr. Aubynn said mining should therefore be seen “as a catalyst for development and not just an exclusive industry that provides fiscal imports. It needs to be fully integrated into the local economy”.

Dr. Aubynn paid a courtesy call on the Ashanti Regional Minister Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, where he re-affirmed the Chamber’s preparedness to support the government to bring progress to the people.

He appealed for adequate security protection to enable the mining companies undertake their activities without hindrances.

Dr. Agyemang-Mensah advised the mines to live up to their social responsibilities to the communities.**
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