Vice President Dr Bawumia (4th left) with Samuel Abu Jinapor (3rd left) and other officials of the Assay Lab
GHANA’S GOLD export figures have started picking up since the beginning of this year.
This follows the introduction of a newly digitalised National Assay Laboratory at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for the National Assay Centre.
Since the commencement of the National Assay Programme in 2017 till date, the PMMC has been able to assay 18 million ounces of gold at an estimated value of $27 billion with the artisanal small-scale mining sector accounting for 6.6 million ounces valued at $9.2 billion, while the large-scale sector accounted for 11.3 million ounces valued at $ 17.9 billion.
Vice President Bawumia who inaugurated the fcility, said the digitalised assay laboratory will put Ghana on the global map as a credible, responsible source of gold and contribute to the President’s vision of making the country a potent and sustainable mineral hub in Africa.
He said the state-of-the-art laboratory operated by the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC), will enable the PMMC to produce computer generated assay certificates with distinct security features which will make it difficult for fraudsters to forge them to facilitate their gold scams.
Apart from that, Dr Bawumia said the facility will also aid PMMC, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Bank of Ghana (BoG) and other relevant state institutions to obtain real time data on gold exports and generate varied reports on gold exports.
In the past couple of years, gold export figures declined due to government’s 3 per cent withholding tax on gold exports.
However, with the new facility, he said gold smuggling and other corrupt practices in the gold export trade will curb.
Managing Director of PMMC, Nana Akwasi Awuah, said the digitalised laboratory will help check and verify data on gold exports and address disparities in the commodity trade records, particularly gold exports between Ghana and its export destination countries.
Nana Awuah said access to the dashboard of the digitised assay laboratory had already been granted to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and his deputy ministers while access would soon be extended to the President as the constitutional trustee of Ghana’s precious minerals, and to the Vice President who heads the government’s economic management team, among others.
BY Charles Takyi-Boadu