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ACCRA, Ghana--(TWN-Africa-29 June, 2011)--Abdulai Daramani, a Programme Officer of Environment Unit of Third World Network-Africa, has said that emerging processes that seek to “threaten the mining reform agenda” at the continental and regional level are underway. Daramani was speaking to newsmen in Accra Tuesday at a press briefing organized by the African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES) to share with local media the outcome of their thirteenth annual strategy meeting, which took place from 21 – 24 June in Harare, Zimbabwe.



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Concept Note

1.0 Background

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) and Third World Network-Africa propose to organise the 13th annual strategy meeting of the African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES). The meeting is scheduled to run from June 20 to June 24, 2011 in Harare, Zimbabwe.


Founded in 1999, AIMES is a Pan-African network of organisations, groups, communities and individuals engaged in extractive sector advocacy, in particular mining. As a network, it offers a framework for collaboration to strengthen collective actions that advance community interest, environmental sustainability and development in relation to the extractive sector. The network has representation in over 15 strategic mining countries in Africa. Third World Network (TWN) - Africa is the secretariat of AIMES.


The Africa wide liberalization of mining codes since the 1980s triggered a boom in large scale foreign direct investment in Africa’s mining sectors. The large scale foreign direct investment was motivated by very generous incentives regimes that these codes offered to foreign investors. The African mining boom has generated a number of questions and been accompanied by a number of negative developments.


These negative developments range from concerns about the disproportionate benefits earned by foreign investors compared to host countries and local communities; pressure for greater transparency in the relations between companies and national governments over the transfer and use of mining revenues, demands for accountability companies and public institutions in relations between companies and mining affected communities as well as concerns about environmental degradation and destruction of livelihoods of affected communities and violations of their rights. The lack of linkages between mining enclaves and the rest of national economies have also attracted demands from citizens groups for a re-examination of the incentives regimes enjoyed by foreign mining companies.


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We repeat our demands for:

  • An end to impunity and violation of community rights and the environment
  • Review of mining contracts to make them fair, transparent, equitable and optimise their contribution to national development.
  • An upward review of royalty tax and state equity participation.
  • An introduction of specific taxes such as capital gain tax, windfall tax, and super tax. A specific percentage of the supper tax could be devoted for implementation of the continental reform agenda.
  • Review of the framework and administration of the environmental and social impact assessment to take account of issues such as human rights, gender, housing and access to livelihood.
  • Abrogation of clauses of stability agreement, development agreement and confidentiality of environmental audit reports from national codes as these constitute major barriers to state autonomy and public access to information.
  • Transparency and accountability of public institutions and mining companies, particularly in their relations with communities and citizens’ groups, as well as their obligations to environmental, human rights, finance and tax.



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Mining in Ghana

Carats and sticks

A resource-rich government takes on foreign mining firms

Mar 31st 2010 | ACCRA | From The Economist print edition


BRITISH colonialists called Ghana the Gold Coast. To this day it remains Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal, after South Africa, and the world’s ninth-biggest. Five foreign mining firms are digging huge open pits to get at the gold, encouraged by recent record prices. But the country, once seen as one of Africa’s most welcoming jurisdictions for mining firms, is now becoming more exacting.


Ghana’s parliament has voted to increase royalties from 3% to 5%, although the president has yet to sign the bill. In February the country’s environmental regulator suspended production at AngloGold Ashanti’s Iduapriem mine because the mine’s tailings dam, which stores cyanide-laced waste, was almost full. Last year the agency prevented Golden Star Resources, a Canadian firm, from expanding a mine where it had failed to fill an abandoned pit. Most notably, earlier this year it fined Newmont, the world’s second-biggest goldmining firm, $4.9m over a cyanide spill at its Ahafo mine.

The immediate cause of the increase in royalties is a budget deficit of almost 10% of GDP. But underlying it and the increasingly strict enforcement of environmental rules is a sense that Ghana is not getting much benefit from its mineral wealth. Gold accounted for 40% of exports in 2008, with a value of $2.2 billion. But the government received only $116m in taxes and royalties from mining firms—less than 4% of the country’s total tax take. “When you come here as an investor,” says Sherry Ayittey, the minister of the environment, “don’t come to mine and pollute the water bodies, repatriate your profits and leave our people suffering.”


Mining firms, predictably, are unenthusiastic. They say a new royalty regime could deter future investment and, in some cases, violate existing agreements. The government, in turn, is trying to renegotiate those agreements. Billy Mawasha, who runs Iduapriem, says his firm is not dogmatic, but had hoped that “the investment agreement would stay in place as it is.”


In rich and poor countries alike, taxes and royalties tend to gyrate with commodity prices, as governments seek to cream off a greater share of profits in good years and stimulate investment in lean ones. Several other African countries, including Tanzania and Zambia, have gone backwards and forwards on royalties in recent years. But Ghana’s new tack is noteworthy since the country is in the midst of an oil boom. Several Western oil firms are developing fields off the country’s coast. Production is likely to start next year, and to bring in far more money than mining. The government hopes to capture more than a third of the proceeds in one way or another. It is even arguing over a big investment by Exxon Mobil—a sure sign of resolve.



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ACCRA, Ghana—(TWN-Af)-2 March, 2010— Mr.Richard Adjei-Poku, Executive Director of Livelihood and Environmental Ghana (LEG), an environmental and human rights advocacy organisation has denied allegations of extortion and theft made against him by Newmont Gold Ghana Ltd, NGGL . Newmont, he stated, is out to demonise and intimidate him as part of their strategy to silence critical voices in their area of operation.

He said this during a press conference facilitated by the National Coalition on Mining, NCOM, in Accra.


According to the release issued at the conference, Newmont’s allegations come against the backdrop of an 8 October 2009 incident, when there was a spillage of cyanide by NGGL into some water bodies at Jakakrom and surrounding communities near Kenyasi in the Asutifi District of the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana.


The release explains that “since the spillage, the Company [Newmont] has consistently embarked on image-destruction, acts of intimidation and harassment”—particularly against Adjei-Poku to the extent that on 15 January, 2010, Newmont officials “falsely accused” him of stealing roofing sheets...



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