Ghana outdoored its first hallmarked gold bar that has been produced and processed in the country.
The certification and hallmarking was carried out by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), which also issued a certificate of the gold bar to the Accra-based Gold Coast Refinery Limited.
The export of the Hallmarked gold will help to correct discrepancies in the exported values of gold and end situations where Ghana report one set of values and other countries different set of values for the same gold.
This is because, for the Hallmarked gold, its purity, weight and its value cannot be disputed since these are standard inscriptions on the Gold Bar.
In his welcoming address, Professor Alex Dodoo, Director-General Ghana Standards Authority, said the Authority was pleased to be contributing to the national economy by certifying purified gold in Ghana.
He said the GSA had developed and or adopted over 10 national and international standards for gold, precious minerals and jewellery.
The Authority also currently, has a world-class gold assay laboratory equipped with the state of the art equipment, comprising X-ray Fluorescence Machine and the all requirements for fire assay analysis, the only acceptable methods worldwide in the assaying of gold.
Prof. Dodoo said the GSA had instituted a Gold Hallmarking Scheme, the first of which is being outdoored, aligned with international criteria on hallmarking.
He said the GSA plans to work with stakeholders to ensure that gold purified in Ghana was traceable and of known provenance.
“There are exciting times in Ghana and the GSA is pleased to be contributing its share towards a modernised and transformed Ghanaian economy towards a Ghana Beyond Aid,” Prof. Dodoo added.
On his part, Mr Kwaku Asoma-Cheremeh the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said the unveiling of the maiden Hallmarked Gold Bar was a dream come true for the country in its quest to refine gold and add value to the commodity.
“This special occasion to unveil locally refined and hallmarked gold is important for us as a nation because it fulfils our aspiration of adding value to precious minerals mined here in Ghana,” he said.
Also, it goes a long way to support the President’s policy to industrialise the country’s economy through value addition, the Minister said.
He reiterated government commitment to improve the sector to make a meaningful contribution to the growth and sustainable development of the country.
Mr Asoma-Cheremeh announced that Gold Coast Refinery has offered a carried interest shareholding of 15 per cent to government and that the process for the decision was in advanced stage of final consideration.
Mr Sampson Nortey, Managing Director, Gold Coast Refinery, said the day marked the company’s receipt of its professional certificate and commemoration of the beginning of gold hallmarking in the history of Ghana.
“We can confidently say now that we have a finished product which can be sold on the international bullion market as Ghana’s Hallmarked Gold,” he said, adding that, it provides the impetus in the industrialisation agenda of the government, which is mainly to add value to our natural resources including precious metals.
Mr Nortey said refining the gold mined locally also provides the opportunity to improve export earnings and strong forward linkage to value addition enterprises such as goldsmiths, jewellery manufacturers and medallion producers to have ready access to products and raw material for business without having to import those inputs.
Dr Said Deraz, Board Chairman Gold Coast Refinery, said the company would set up a jewellery school to train Ghanaians and also invest in assaying and foundry in mining communities in line with government’s programme of one district one factory.
Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, who was the guest of honour, said the unveiling was a very significant development.
He said it was a tragedy of history that Ghana, a producer of gold, is not recognised in the global bullion market because of lack of certification.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast Security had donated the first Gold bar to government.