Goldsmiths cry for gold
goldsmiths in the manufacture of jewelleries
within the Western Region are on the verge of
extinction, due to their inability to access
gold for their production.
They are compelled to buy gold at
internationally competitive prices or rely on "galamsey"
operators, many of whose operations are illegal.
Mr David Elemawusi Nibo, Western Regional
Secretary of the Federation of Ghanaian
Jewellers disclosed this to the Ghana News
Agency (GNA) in an interview at Takoradi on
He said their business which falls within the
small and medium scale (SMEs) category, cannot
access bank loans, due to the lack of
collateral, and the survival of the industry
depended on the initiative of the owner.
“Our businesses are on the verge of collapse due
to our inability to sustain it due to the rising
cost of gold and our inability to get a
consistent source of gold, our major raw
Mr Nibo said another threat to the local
goldsmith industry was the high patronage of
cheap foreign rings, necklaces, ornaments and
pendants “many of which are substandard as
compared to what is manufactured in the
Mr Nibo expressed the disappointment of the
members of the federation at various government
ministers, who have headed the ministry of mines
for failing to fulfil the numerous promises they
made to them.
“We feel cheated and abandoned without any hope
of keeping our small scale business in
operation” he said.
Mr Nibo suggested that a gold refinery should be
established in the Western Region to enable
small and medium scale goldsmiths have access to
some quantities of gold at affordable prices.
“We cannot continue to travel to Accra and other
parts of the country to buy gold, considering
the risks and other dangers associated with
travelling with such precious metals,” he
He suggested the establishment of a Western
Regional Gold Village, where crafts made out of
gold and other minerals could be displayed and
for sale to anyone interested.
Mr Nibo said it was sad that though the country
was described over several years as a Gold
Coast, over 80 percent of the citizenry have not
seen what gold looks like, thereby making
dealers prey to the activities of fraudsters.
He called on Ghanaians to change their attitude
and tastes for foreign goods and embrace locally
manufactured goods and services in the country.
Dr Toni Aubynn, Corporate Affairs Manager of
Goldfields Ghana Limited (GGL) in a re-action
said the federation could purchase gold from the
Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) to
keep their businesses in operation.
He said one of the aims for legalising scale
mining and the establishment of the PMMC, was to
make gold available to local consumers and
manufacturers of gold and diamond products.
Dr Aubynn however disagreed with the federation
that they be assisted to buy gold at reduced
prices and stressed that producers of gold will
not accept to sell gold below the "par value" or
the approved market price.
“Again selling gold or any such raw materials
below the market price would not reflect the
true production cost for either the company or
the goldsmith in the country,” he added.
Dr Aubynn however suggested that some embedded
taxes on gold by the PMMC could be reviewed so
that gold prices will come down for domestic
buyers and keep small and medium scale
businesses (SMEs) in the industry functional.
“In the long run, I think this will require
policy rather than the temporary magnanimity of
any gold mining company,” he noted
He said sometime ago, GGL went into a gold loan
arrangement with the College of Jewellery in
Accra for a similar reason but the outcome was
Mr John G. Koomson, Acting Western Regional Head
of the National Board for Small Scale Businesses
(NBSSI) said, previously the jewellers in the
region purchased their gold from the Bank of
Ghana (BOG) but did not know why they had
He pledged to meet the leadership and the BOG
and re-activate the previous arrangements.
Mr Ahmed D. Nantogmah, Director of Public
Affairs and Environment of the Ghana Chamber of
Mines said in an interview that currently two
local companies, the Precious Metal Refinery (PMR)
and Asap Vespa both refined and sold gold to
goldsmiths and jewellers.
"Thus, there is adequate refinery capacity in
the country. It will be superfluous to have
additional capacity in the Western Region,” he