The country's gold production output declined marginally from 4.24 million ounces in 2016 to 4.22 million ounces in 2017, the former president of the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM), Kwame Addo-Kufuor has said.
The one per cent drop in gold output, he said, was largely due to developments in the small-scale mining sector.
Addressing the Chamber's 90th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra on Friday, Mr Addo-Kufuor however said production from member companies of the GCM increased by 11 per cent to 2.8 million ounces in 2017 from 2.54 million ounces in 2016.
The AGM which saw the election of Mr Eric Asubonteng as President, Alfred Baku and Johan Ferreira as First and Second Vice President respectively was under the theme "A responsible and sustainable mining industry; a partner for national development."
He said the total gold revenues realised from member companies of GCM increased by 13 per cent to $3.68 billion in 2017, while the total mining fiscal receipts mobilised by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) increased by 31 per cent from GH¢1.65 billion in 2016 to GH¢2.16 billion in 2017, translating into 16.3 per cent increase of domestic direct revenue mobilised by the GRA in 2017.
The former president of GCM said the mining sector corporate tax receipts increased by 39 per cent from GH¢696.9 million in 2016 to GH¢969.6 million in 2017 and mineral royalty revenue also increased by 28 per cent to GH¢702.4 million.
"Employee income (pay-as-you-earn) increased from GH¢399.9 million in 2016 to GH¢487.9 million in 2017, a 22 per cent increase," Mr Addo-Kufuor said, and attributed the impressive upturn in fiscal revenue performance to increased mineral production.
The former president of GCM disclosed that shipments of manganese by the country's sole producer, Ghana Manganese Company increased significantly from two million tonnes in 2016 to three million tonnes in 2017 as a result of expansion in mining operations.
"On the downside, however, exports of diamond by Precious Mineral Marketing Company fell from 143,005 carats in 2016 to 86,924 carats in 2017 due to lower production from artisanal and small scale producers," he said.
Mr Addo-Kufuor indicated that the mining companies were promoting local content and total spending by producing member companies of GCM on goods and services procured from local suppliers and manufacturers amounted to $1.23 billion in 2017.
That, he said, represented a 34 per cent of realised mineral revenue and an increase on the preceding year's spending.
He entreated government to implement the proposed mining policies to revamp the industry in a gradual approach.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu in a speech read on his behalf by her Deputy, Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi said government was to conduct mining audit and security survey of some selected mining companies.
He said the objective of the audit was to prevent mineral revenue leakage to government and boost transparency and accountability in the mining sector, formed part of reforms being embarked on by government to revamp the mining sector.
Mr Amewu also disclosed that government was developing a comprehensive policy and legislative instrument on local content and institutional restructuring of Minerals Commission was being undertaken to improve on the Commission's efficiency and monitoring role.
"The Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated project, government's broad-based approach to sanitising the small scale mining sector will soon be implanted," he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GCM, Mr Sulemanu Koney said the Chamber achieved a lot of success last year, indicating that the Chamber currently has its own ultra modern office complex.