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Govt outlines plans for the Mining Sector

The President Akufo-Addo led government has outlined some policy initiatives that are expected to achieve the needed growth and development in Ghana’s mining sector.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu at the ongoing Ghana Mining and Energy Summit in Accra, the deputy minister, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi enumerated the policies to include managing the mineral revenue resources efficiently for the benefits of all Ghanaians, enacting a consolidated  Mineral Revenue Management Law similar to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act-to guide the use of mineral revenues in strategic sectors of the country’s economy as well as regularize the small scale mining sector.

The policies also include mainstreaming critical strategic mineral feedstock into the domestic economy including low value minerals, to support economic value addition; encouraging the development of shared infrastructure to integrate Mining with Community Development, while promoting mining value-addition through the processing of minerals.

According to the Minister, the government has decided to implement these initiatives in addition to existing policies to project the mining sector to its desired ladder in terms of job creation and economic growth of the people.

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Parliament recently passed the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) Act to among others provide the financial resources to transform the mining communities in Ghana. The Minister noted that his Ministry has initiated the necessary process to implement the Act and that all the relevant stakeholders will be brought on board as the process fully commences. It is his wish that the Ghana Chamber of Mines would support the implementation of the law to realize its objectives.

While calling for more investments into the mining sector, the Minister noted that the continuous relevance of the mining sector to Ghana’s economy depends largely on the inflow of investments for both fresh and brownfield exploration.

In 2016, the Mining industry particularly in Ghana was faced with some challenges including unstable commodity prices and the energy crisis, leading to the underperformance and downsizing of operations of some of the mining companies in the country.

“With a fairly stable commodity prices in the world market for gold, some resilient mining companies have started to explore opportunities to reinvest in the country.

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“As partners in sustainable development, the government is committed to cooperate with the mining companies to come up with cost-cutting innovations and modern technology to boost investment in the sector,” Mr Amewu stated.

He assured participants at the forum of the government’s continuous support to the efforts of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the entire mining industry as to stimulate new investment and exploration opportunities for all.

President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Kwame Addo appreciated Mr Amewu’s commitment to the campaign against illegal mining and to reform the sector.

“We also wish to commend the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the holistic and intersectoral approach being taken by government and including the critical issue of alternative livelihood opportunities for those impacted in the discussion”, he added.

“We also wish to congratulate the Media Coalition and Illegal Mining, civil society, religious bodies and other stakeholders who have contributed to this important debate”.

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He committed the membership of the Chamber to safety and responsible mining saying “the members of the Chamber are committed to safe mining, responsibly and to submitting to the guidance and authority of our regulators – the Sector Ministry, Minerals Commission, EPA, Forestry Commission, Water Resources Commission etc.

“Within the Chamber itself we monitor and observe the compliance and performance of our members. It is for this reason that we in 2015 set up the annual Ghana Mining Awards to recognize and reward excellence in safe, environmentally compliant, innovative, sustainable mining practice,” he stated.

Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Sulemanu Koney, said through the production and procurement of local inputs, the mining industry could catalyze growth and development of local manufacturing in the country.

Over 30 companies are participating in the Ghana Mining and Energy Summit which is a Gana Chamber of Mines event. The event include exhibition, workshop and plenary sessions with presentations from industry experts.

Jeorge Wilson Kingson