TAB-Forest Mining, LTD and International Resource Group LLC announce their collaboration in the creation of the Capital and Regularization for Mining Activities Company (“CARMA”). CARMA is the operational entity that represents a bold new public-private partnership with the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (“GNASSM”) to deliver needed capital and to regularize small scale mining activities within Ghana.
The framework for this national initiative has been under formulation for two years and involves close operational coordination with the GNASSM and the various agencies of the federal and local governments. A Memorandum of Understanding between CARMA and the GNASSM has been executed and the initiative now moves into the contracting phase. This comprehensive program is designed to be the key that will unlock the still largely untapped resources that is Ghana’s small scale mining industry.
CARMA is the operational entity that provides a comprehensive set of programs that will assist Ghana’s small scale mining community with capital formation and the logistical framework to streamline this underutilized industry. Program goals include:
- Source and deploy significant new capital to fund small scale mining expansion,
- Maximize the exploitation of resources,
- Curtail illegal activities,
- Strengthen the regulatory framework and enforcement,
- Enhance job creation and economic benefits,
- Provide fair benefit back to the mining communities, and
- Prevent the destruction of farms and the pollution of lands and river bodies.
While CARMA as a company will be responsible to implement the initiative, other key stakeholders are closely involved. CARMA will be advised by a five member Advisory Board, consisting of representatives from CARMA, the GNASSM, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ghana financial community, and the minerals industry.
Program Beneficiaries (GNASSM members) must meet and maintain strict program requirements, including adhering to the rules and regulations governing mining, maintaining a valid mineral mining license, being a member in good standing of the GNASSM, maintaining a sound financial condition, providing valid mining concessions with geologically proven gold reserves, mining utilizing environmentally friendly practices, and reclaiming the land utilizing funds from the Reclamation Fund established by the program.
The investment capital raised by CARMA will be allocated on a flexible and customized basis based on a needs assessment of each Beneficiary conducted by CARMA, the GNASSM and the larger Advisory Board in collaboration with the Beneficiary. Through the CARMA programs, Beneficiaries will be able to access needed capital for equipment and general working capital. Repayment will be in the form of mined gold and will be sufficient to provide an array of benefits, including the actual costs related to providing the equipment/capital, Advisory Board and GNASSM operational costs, the Reclamation Fund, returns to capital providers, and amounts sufficient for program continuation. As the price of gold can fluctuate, program terms will provide for risk and reward sharing among the parties in the case of large price swings.
Additionally, Beneficiaries will be able to sell their gold at favorable market prices to CARMA by delivery to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (“PMMC”) regional offices, avoiding sales through unauthorized channels.
CARMA will establish relationships with program vendors to provide reasonably priced services to Beneficiaries in the areas of banking, minerals testing, equipment procurement, equipment service and maintenance, fuels and lubricants, secure transportation, refining services, reclamation services, and specified other operational services.
Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Mines and Technology (“UMaT”), the GNASSM will help coordinate the assignment and activities of professionals from UMaT to assist each Beneficiary in its business, including strategic planning, mining operations and training.
Federal and local governments will also play an active role in the initiative.
By design, the CARMA program can be a transformational undertaking that can significantly impact the mining industry, job creation, federal and local tax collections, and social and environmental progress. Diligent work is underway to create and implement the program.