The government has said plans are far advanced to set up a gold refinery to enable the country to add value and fetch higher dividends from gold production.
Addressing Parliament during his presentation of the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy on Thursday (November 24), Minister for Finance Ken Ofori-Atta said the move, which is a joint venture with the private sector, will help boost the gold industry in Ghana and create jobs for the many young people in the country who are out of work.
Ofori-Atta said the continuous drop in value of the country’s main export commodities was an indication that the economy cannot rely on exporting raw materials of major produce. As such, he said, the government is putting measures in place to address this challenge.
Ghana, the second biggest gold-producing country in Africa after South Africa, is home to leading multinational mining companies which mine and export the commodity to be refined in other countries. This leaves the country shortchanged in terms of revenue accruing to the state from the mining industry.
With the substantial increase in gold prices on the world market, the establishment of a refinery to produce gold in Ghana will set the country on a better footing, allowing the country to add value to the metal and get full monetary value out of it rather than exporting it in its raw form.
Adding value to its gold, the Finance Minister said, will help Ghana derive far more deserving returns from its resources than what accrues to the state at present from selling raw gold.
Ofori-Atta expressed optimism that the gold refinery will help diversify the nation’s mineral economy from being a predominantly export-driven structure to a value addition economy. This, the minister said, will help earn Ghana enough foreign exchange to cushion the local currency.