Gold Fields Ghana pays US$7m interim dividend to government
Accra, October 2015: Gold Fields Ghana (GFG), with mines in Tarkwa and Damang, has paid US$7 million as an interim dividend to the Government of Ghana for the 2015 financial year. The amount represents 10% of dividends declared, which is due to the government by virtue of the latter’s 10% ownership in Gold Fields Ghana through a free carried interest.
This is the second dividend payment to government this year. An amount of US$4.5million was paid earlier this year in May. Between its Tarkwa and Damang operations, Gold Fields Ghana has, to date, paid over US$87 million in dividends, over US$548 million in corporate taxes, and over US$439 million in royalties to the Government of Ghana.
Gold Fields’ Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa, Alfred Baku, who presented the US$7 million cheque to the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mona Quartey, noted that the country’s political stability and strong democratic credentials give confidence to the investment community.
He was, however, deeply worried about the ongoing power crisis which has significantly added to the production cost of mining companies, as well as the huge outstanding VAT refunds which are locking up capital and adversely affecting the recapitalization of mining operations. Mr Baku said, “the delay in the release of the VAT refunds is negatively impacting the company’s cash flow, especially since the real value of the money is being lost over time, through the depreciation of the local currency.” The fact that Gold Fields Ghana is operating without a stability agreement, unlike some of its peers, was also of grave concern.
Mr Baku was of the view that mining operations should transform lives through social development, and appealed for a greater percentage of mining royalties to be invested in mining communities to accelerate community development.
He announced that GFG, through its Foundation (Gold Fields Ghana Foundation) has invested over US$26 million in mining communities, in the areas of education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture and agribusiness, and infrastructure.
“The company is currently seeking to partner government to rehabilitate a 33km road from Tarkwa through Abosso to Damang. Once completed, this road will revive and enhance economic activities and promote agriculture along that corridor,” he said.
Mr Baku maintained that mining could be an important catalyst for long term economic development, and that Gold Fields Ghana is already playing a leadership role in that respect.
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