According to Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia’s Facebook post on Friday, Ghana has ordered all significant mining firms to transfer 20% of the whole stock of refined gold they have at their refineries to the Bank of Ghana as of January 1, 2023.
Ghana’s government is preparing a new strategy where oil goods will be purchased using gold reserves rather than U.S. dollar reserves. The decision is intended to address the declining foreign exchange reserves and the demand for dollars from oil importers, which are weakening the local cedi and driving up living expenses.
Community mining schemes and licensed small-scale miners will also have to sell gold to the government, Bawumia said, without specifying how much of their reserves would be affected.
Bank of Ghana communications officer Sam Opoku said he could not confirm or deny whether Bawumia’s order was being considered.
A spokesperson for AngloGold Ashanti Ltd said via email it had not yet received a formal directive on its gold reserves but looked forward to studying and engaging with the government once it does.
Although it stated that it and other miners had already committed to a gold purchasing program with the Bank of Ghana, Gold Fields claimed that neither the Ghana Chamber of Mines nor its Gold Fields Ghana unit had been formally approached regarding Bawumia’s plan. As a result, it could not comment.
Requests for comment from a spokeswoman for the International Monetary Fund were not immediately fulfilled. Ghana is in the midst of its greatest economic crisis in a decade and is discussing a relief package with the IMF.
Ghana produces crude oil, but since its sole refinery was forced to close due to an explosion in 2017, it has had to import refined oil products. This year, the value of its cedi currency against the US dollar has fallen by more than 40%.