Ghana builds gold refinery
Accra: Ghana is building a 4-million-euro gold refinery at the premises of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) Limited, its Chief Executive Officer Reuben Darko Damptey said.
The Osagyefo Gold Refinery Ltd, named after Ghana's first president, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, is being undertaken by the state-run PMMC in collaboration with Geo Professionals Services Ltd, a Russian mining and exploration firm.
Damptey told Xinhua Friday that the PMMC had shelved earlier plans to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
"We have been advised to go into Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as the listing was not materializing, and that is what we are doing," the CEO explained.
Owing to the fluctuation of global gold prices, he said, it is better for Ghana to add value to its yellow metal to get real monetary value for it.
He said the company would, on completion of the refinery, add value to the gold it would purchase by making jewelleries, wrist-watch straps and other products to attract higher prices.
"This will act as security for prices in the face of fluctuating global prices for gold," Damptey said, adding that PMMC would continue looking for, and working with private sector players for value addition to its minerals, including diamonds.
He disclosed that the start of the project was delayed till the middle of this year as PMMC and its partners were working on licensing and approvals for the refinery.
Public Affairs Director for PMMC Innocent Appiah said the work is expected to be completed within six months.
"When we start adding value to gold, it would create a lot more employment in terms of artisans and technicians as well as experts who would work at the refinery," Appiah said.
PMMC already has a 40-bench diamond polishing outfit that adds value to small stones produced in Ghana.
Gold prices which reached over USD 1,800 an ounce on the world market in 2011, have plummeted to as low as USD 1,200 at the end of June 2013.