Ghana suspends planned listing of $500m gold royalty fund on governance criticism

Gold doré

GHANA has suspended the $500m listing of a gold royalty fund owing to concerns raised by the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, about transparency and governance, said Reuters.

“It would be detrimental to proceed without receiving … the green light from your office,” Reuters cited deputy finance ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, as having said in an October 1 letter to the country’s special prosecutor.

Agyapa Royalties, a government-backed fund that holds equity interests including mining royalties in the state’s gold assets, had hired banks to list on the London Stock Exchange, sources said on September 21.

Ghana wants to take advantage of the precious metal’s strong performance this year to raise $400m to $500m from the initial public offering, said Reuters.

Last week the opposition National Democratic Congress called for an independent probe into the valuation of the company’s royalty rights and questioned its proposed registration in Jersey, an offshore British tax haven, the newswire said.

In response the government said it was not seeking secrecy would comply with international corporate governance standards.

Ghana has become the largest gold producer in Africa.

The proposed re-start of the Obuasi gold mine owned by AngloGold Ashanti, was expected to add 350,000 to 450,000 ounces a year to Ghana’s total gold output which at 4.8 million ounces in 2018 eclipsed South Africa’s output of 4.2 million oz for the first time.

In addition to AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields is also shifting its attention to Ghana where mining is easier technically and from a regulatory point of view. Another miner, Newmont Mining, has a long established position in the West African country.