Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1965
Year 1965, Volume IV (1967)
Murchison, Roderick G.; Woodmansee, Walter C.
Ghana, pp. 799-806
799The Mineral Industry of Ghana By Roderick C. Murchison' and Walter C. Woodmansee2 Although Ghana produced only a limited number of mineral commodities in 1965, the country maintained a significant world position as a source of several commodities, including diamond, manganese ore, gold, and bauxite. Gold followed cocoa as Ghana's second largest source of foreign exchange. Preliminary data indicate that the value of mineral output (except refined petroleum) was about $60 million, an estimated 3 percent of a gross national product of $2,035 million (current prices) .~ In January, a Soviet geological survey group of 40 exploration technicians became an integral part of the Ghana Geological Survey. The Soviet group totaled 84 in 1963 and 65 in 1964. Throughout the year the minerals industry was hurt by the continuing inflationary trend, increased taxation, shortages of mining supplies and equipment, and stricter regulations on import licenses, including licenses for items essential to mine production. In spite of these problems, Ashanti Goldfields Corp. Ltd., the large, private gold producer, and Consolidated African Selection Trust Ltd. (CAST), continued substantial expansion programs. During the year the Government passed a Minerals and Metals Act, Sales Tax Act, Social Security Act, and Foreign Travel Tax Act, all affecting mineral operators. The Minerals and Metals Act, passed by Parliament in March, created a Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, charged with regulating the mineral industry. This marked the first time in Ghana's history that a ministry was created solely for the administration of the country's mines and mineral resources. The new legislation granted the Ministry authority to inspect mines and mineral properties, to require operating companies to provide production data, to set fees for mineral, licenses and permits, and to establish mineral policies, including policies regarding conservation.4 In May a new section, concerned with diamond and gold sales and defining offenses for illegal activities, was added to the Act. Under the Social Security Act, effective July 1, 1965, companies were required to contribute to the fund a sum equal to 15 percent. of total wages paid. The Sales Tax Act placed an 11.5 percent tax on all petroleum products and a gasoline tax of 7 cents per gallon. The Government assumed control over several sectors of the mineral industry; by yearend the following State-owned agencies had been incorporated: State Brick and Tile Corp., State Diamond Marketing Corp., State Diamond Mining Corp., State Gold Mining Corp., State Marble Works Corp., State Metal Industries Corp., Kwame Nkrumah Steelworks Corp., and Sheet and Metal Works Corp. Ashanti Goldfields was supplied with hydroelectric power from the new Volta River Dam at Akosoimbo in 1965, improving the company's financial position. Volta Aluminium Co. Ltd. (VALCO), the new aluminum producer, was connected to this power source in September. Other goldmining operations also were expected to receive Volta hydroelectric power. The mineral industry ranked third; after cocoa and timber, as an employer among industries earning foreign exchange. Di' Regional minerals attache, U.S. Embassy, Accra. 2 Physical scientist, Division of International Activities. Department of State, Agency for International Development, AID Economic Data Book. \Vhere necessary, values have been converted from Ghanaian pounds (MG) to U.S. dollars at the rate of £G1 = $2.80. On July 19, 1965, a new decimal currency, the cedi, was introduced; the conversion rate is 1 cedi = $1.17. U.S. Embassy, Accra, Ghana. State Depart~ ment Airgram A—368, Mar. 21, 1965, p. 3.
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