Ghana Mine Contractors Association is protesting a 500 percent increase in mining services permit from the Minerals Commission.

Local firms are now required to pay $10, 000, instead of 10, 000 cedis a year.

Registration form and processing fees are now US$250 and US$500 respectively. 

They say the commission also charges an additional US$10,000 as mining support service fee before granting the contractors license at a cost of GH¢5, 000.00.

The contractors have hinted of possible demonstration if the minerals commission fails to review its charges.

The group also argued that the commission’s decision has compelled each of the 4,000 members to pay GH¢100,770 as annual fees.

Vice-Chairman, Romeo Wilson said, despite the monies being charged, it is only the license fee that can be used to tender a contract from the mining companies.

He indicated that the aggrieved contractors petitioned the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources on 13 May 2019, to review minerals commission charges, but to no avail.

The association also commits 7.5 percent of its contract fees as withholding tax for salaries, goods and works.

Members also pay for district assembly business permits, stool land fees, property rate, EPA, business certificate renewal, works and housing certificate, and factory and inspectorate fees.

They said the exorbitant charges are not only collapsing their businesses but they also defeat government local content inclusion agenda.

“Members of the association can’t continue to pay the levies because it’s taking away our livelihoods,” Mr Wilson stated.

The association, therefore, implored the government through the sector ministry to reduce the charges else they will demonstrate to register their displeasure.