Ghana is set to reduce drastically the export of unprocessed gold with the setting up of its first National Gold Refinery by July 2019.
Although Ghana is one of the top 10 gold producing countries in the world with estimated production at 92 metric tonnes per year, its quest to add value to the raw gold has not yet been realised.
Precious Minerals Marketing Congress (PMMC) has partnered with private Ghanaian registered company Royal Ghana Gold to establish a 20-million-dollar gold refinery in the country.
The facility when completed, will help reduce the volume of gold exported annually by at least 50 percent.
At a groundbreaking ceremony in Accra, Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Benito Owusu Bio assured that this dream would be a reality.
“This government will make sure that this is done. This is in line to ensure that we have the capacity. So that later when we say 30 percent is not enough and so we are increasing to 50 or even 100, [then we can].”
Chief Executive Officer of the PMMC, Dr. Kwadwo Opare-Hammond, is confident that facility will boost the country's revenue from gold export.
“We believe in value addition; and the best way to add value to gold is to refine it. Though we have got money from exporting gold in its raw form, we can get more money if we refine it. So with this refinery, Ghana is going to add value to gold before it is exported.”
Meanwhile, contractors of the facility are optimistic of meeting the 2019 deadline.
In 2016, former President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated the Gold Coast (GC) Refinery Ghana Limited, which officials said was the largest gold refinery in West Africa and the second largest in Africa.
Located within the Airport Light Industrial Area in Accra, the $110 million plant has the capacity to refine raw dust, scrap gold and other precious metals up to 180 metric tonnes per annum in a single shift production.
Besides, the state-of-the-art facility was to refine up to the finest quality.
The refinery, which was to provide direct and indirect employment to 1,500 people, was the initiative of the Euroget Group of Egypt, Banking and Financial Services (BAFIS), an international joint stock company, and some local shareholders.
Ghana is one of the top 10 gold producing countries in the world with production over the last three years pegged at 92 metric tonnes per year.
Although the history of the country in gold production dates back to over 100 years, the quest to add value to the raw gold has remained only a dream.