The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, on Tuesday July 23, 2013 paid an official visit to the ultra-modern office complex of Asap Vasa Company Limited, Ghana’s first and only indigenously owned gold refinery, located at Mataheko in Accra, to familiarise himself with the company’s operations.
The refinery purchases all of its raw gold from licenced small scale miners and refines them to international quality standards of 999.9 per cent fineness for the local and international gold markets.
Mr. Fuseini was accompanied by his Technical Director in charge of Mining, Simon Atebiya; his Director of Administration, Mrs. Gifty Biyira as well as a Director from the National Minerals Commission (NMC), Collins Sackey.
Soon after his arrival, the Minister and his team were taken on a full tour of the multi-million dollar high capacity refinery plant which refines 100 kilograms of gold daily into granules, coins, and bars.
In his remarks after the tour, Mr. Fuseini noted that looking at the value addition practices of the company, its records, and the local brains behind its establishment, the company should be commended because “they have demonstrated that Ghanaians have the potential to take up opportunities that will benefit the entire nation when given the chance”.
Mr Fuseini, who said he was impressed with the company’s operations and achievements, called on the management to add more value and to brand the gold they refine.
He said such value addition would create jobs, enhance income and boost government revenue.
Mr Fuseini further noted that: “This is the type of partnership we are looking for. It is possible for Ghanaians to come together to establish a business.”
He assured of Government’s support to facilitate the growth of the company and other indigenous ones as they hold the key to the development of the country.
He asserted that the reason why small scale mining was legalised was due to the huge potential it held and still holds in the alleviation of poverty if managed well, adding that with the success story of ASAP VASA, there is no reason why gold mined by small scale miners should not be refined first in Ghana.
He, however, advised Ghanaians not to collaborate with foreign nationals who engage in illegal mining (galamsey).
He said, the activities of such foreigners did not only violate the country’s laws, but also create insecurity within the communities in which they operate.
He added that they also evade corporate and income taxes to deprive Government of legitimate revenues and royalties.
Mr. Henry Vroom Parker, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ASAP VASA, informed the Minister that the company refined 45.000 ounces of Gold in 2012 and has so far refined an impressive 60.000 ounces of gold in just the first 2 quarters of this year, adding that the vision of his outfit is to “become the foremost West African supplier of refined gold and gold alloy products to local and international markets”.
Mr Parker said, the Company’s services included gold and silver refinery and bullion trade.
He continued that future activities of the company would include setting up bullion mints, production of semi-finished jewellery products and collaborating with jewellery training institutions as well as setting up a gold village.
he added that the company has seen tremendous growth over the last six years resulting in direct staff strength of twenty-five (25) and indirect jobs to hundreds of legal small-scale miners.
On his part, the board Chairman of Asap Vasa Company Limited, Mr David Abbey thanked the Minister and his entourage for the visit and noted that the company would do everything within its power to continue to be leaders in the gold value addition business.
Asap Vasa is owned by four young Ghanaian entrepreneurs who hold degrees in Metallurgy, Chemistry and Environmental Management from Ghanaian and UK universities.
The quartet; Henry Vroom Parker, Addo Acquaye, Nana Atto Hope, and Seth Quayson established the refinery from scratch with parts and materials purchased from the Timba Market in Accra. Currently the company can boast of a new state of the art refinery plant which meets international