Gap Analysis of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and Draft Amendment

Ghana is greatly endowed with mineral resources that have contributed significantly to the economy through government revenues and job creation. Nonetheless, effective revenue mobilization remains a major challenge in the sector, as the State continues to lose significant revenues due to illicit financial flows and generous tax incentives. The sector has also been associated with damaging environmental effects, and destruction of the livelihoods of host communities’ inhabitants, especially from illegal mining activities.

Most of the problems associated with mining in Ghana can be partially explained by the State’s weak mining governance framework from a policy and legal perspective. Some measures have been established to address these problems domestically. Notably, the passage of a more progressive mineral law (Act 703, 2006) with the twin objective of improving fiscal take and ensuring effective regulation. Additionally, Ghana subscribes to regional and subregional policies and laws such as the Africa Mining Vision (AMV); ECOWAS Directive on Harmonization of the Guiding Principles and Policies Governing the Mining Sector; Africa Mining Vision Action Plan; ECOWAS Mining Development Policy (EMDP); Africa Mining Vision’s African Minerals Governance Framework; and ECOWAS Model Mining and Minerals Development Act (EMMMDA).

In spite of subscriptions to these regional frameworks, Ghana’s Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) which predates these interventions has not undergone any major amendments to reflect international best practices and address the challenges in the sector. A 2017 study by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy on the adoption of the tenets of the AMV in selected African countries showed that Ghana still lagged in contextualizing the AMV in its domestic mining laws. Act 703, 2006 has been amended twice, and Government has proposed a third amendment. Prior amendments focused on minor areas without adequate focus on aligning the law to the regional and subregional standards.

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