Gold output from the large-scale mining sector increased by six per cent to 2.989 million ounces in 2019 from 2.807 million ounces in 2018, according to the annual report of the Ghana Chamber of Mines.
During the period, small-scale production decreased to 1.588 million ounces in 2019 from 1.984 million ounces in 2018.
The 20 per cent fall in the small-scale mining sub-sector resulted in an overall decline in total gold production to 4.577 million ounces in 2019 from 4.792 million ounces in 2018, Mr Eric Asubonteng, President of the Chamber, said in the report during a virtual annual general meeting.
The large-scale sector improved on its contribution to national gold production, from 59 per cent in 2018 to 65 per cent in 2019 whereas the small-scale sector accounted for 35 per cent of national gold production in 2019; a decline from 41 per cent in 2018.
Meanwhile, the bulk minerals sector – manganese and bauxite – recorded 18 per cent and 10 per cent improvements in output respectively.
The shipment of manganese by the country’s sole producer, Ghana Manganese Company, increased from 4.551 million tonnes in 2018 to 5.383 million tonnes in 2019 as a result of the company’s business model which is designed to increase production to meet global demand for its product.
Similarly, Ghana Bauxite Company recovered from the previous year’s slump in production to record a year-on-year growth, shipping 1.116 million tonnes in 2019 from 1.011 million tonnes in 2018.
The mining sector’s total fiscal contribution of 7.7 percent of domestic revenue in 2019 made it the second highest contributor after the financial and insurance sectors.
Overall, the share of the mining and quarrying sector in total direct domestic receipts mobilized by the GRA improved by 70 per cent from GH¢2.36 billion in 2018 to GH¢4.02 billion in 2019.
This growth was occasioned by the simultaneous increase in production and price of some minerals, particularly, gold.
Also, the expiration of the Stability Agreements between the Government of Ghana and some mining companies further resulted in changes that boosted revenue for the State.
Specifically, corporate tax receipts from the sector saw an 89 per cent increase to GH¢2.27 billion in 2019 from the previous GH¢1.20 billion in 2018.
In terms of total government revenue, the mining and quarrying sector’s contributions increased from 4.9 per cent in 2018 to 7.6 per cent in 2019.
Additionally, data from the Bank of Ghana shows that the increase in receipts from minerals expanded the sector’s share in gross merchandise export receipts from 39 per cent in 2018 to 43 per cent in 2019, consolidating the mining sector’s status as the leading source of foreign exchange from export earnings.
The producing member companies of the Chamber returned US$3.3 billion to the country, representing 73 per cent out of the mineral export revenue of US$4.5 billion in 2019.