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Ghana has a long and prosperous mining history. More than 100 years ago, it was one of the first countries in West Africa to mine gold. Today, the country produces over 2 million ounces of gold per year.
Over the past 80 years, many foreign companies have entered the mining and quarrying industry in Ghana.
Some of the biggest names in gold mining include Anglo Ashanti, Golden Star, Newmont, Gold Fields, and Kinross
The availability of abundant mineral resources with basic geo-scientific data, a propitious investment framework and an effective and predictable legal and institutional system to reduce corruption, enforce the rule of law and enhance transparency in the management of Ghana’s mineral resources makes Ghana an attractive investment destination.
Investment into Ghana's mining and quarrying industries will help to make these already lucrative industries more efficient and more productive, ultimately increasing profits across the board. The Government of Ghana states that increasing Foreign Direct Investment is a priority and acknowledges that attracting Foreign Direct Investment requires an enabling legal environment.
The Government of Ghana has no overall economic or industrial strategy that discriminates against foreign-owned businesses. In some cases a foreign investment may enjoy additional incentives if the project is deemed critical to the country's development. American and other foreign firms are able to participate in government-financed and/or research and development programs on a national treatment basis.
154 Ghanaian and 83 foreign companies have been issued with licenses, mainly to prospect for gold. Some of the major international mining companies operating in the country are Normandy Piesadon, Goldfields Limited, Lasource, as well as several juniors from the United States, Canada and Australia.
Most of these companies have used Ghana as a base to venture into other countries in the sub-region. In a continent where many countries are landlocked, Ghana has good ports that allow shipping directly to the United States and Europe. It is a member of the WTO, benefits from trade preferences accorded by the EU to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and is beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the United States. A liberalized telecommunications sector and many Internet providers are available. It also has one of the few well-functioning stock exchanges in Africa, and provides a wide range of incentives for foreign investors.
In the past, the government passed laws to encourage foreign investment and replaced regulations perceived as unfriendly to investors.
These laws with generous provision of tax incentives to foreign investors wield jurisdiction over fiscal issues of the mining sector. The Minerals and Mining Law, PNDCL 153 of 1986 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act - Act 475 of 1995, is the key legislation governing mining in Ghana. The enactment of the law has had a very positive effect on the development of the industry.
Registering a business is a relatively easy procedure, the process involved though, is quite lengthy and requires compliance with regulations and procedures of at least five different government agencies including GIPC, Registrar General Department, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Immigration Service, and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)
More information on investing in Ghana can be obtained from GIPC's website, www.gipcghana.com.