Thousands Throng 2023 Ghana Mining Expo
…Lands Minister Charges Stakeholders To Enhance Investment Across Value Chain
This year’s edition of the Ghana Mining Expo has received massive patronage, with thousands of captains and players of the mining industry in Africa and beyond in attendance in the Western Regional capital, Takoradi.
Addressing the gathering on Friday, July 14, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, who opened the conference, charged stakeholders in the mining industry to invest in value addition in the entire value chain, if the country is to benefit from the various minerals extracted from its soil.
He said, “It is trite learning that the real value of these minerals lies in value addition. For example, the difference between the prices of bauxite and aluminium ingot, which is produced from bauxite, is over three thousand percent (3000%),”
According to him, it was as a result of this cause of value addition that President Akufo-Addo has, since 2017, pursued a number of policies aimed at adding value to the country’s mineral resources.
Citing some examples to this effect, the minister said through a public private partnership, government has established a gold refinery, and are currently working to secure a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) certification, to enable Ghana to easily trade gold refined in the country on the international market.
The government, he said, has also established the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), to promote and develop integrated aluminium and iron and steel industries in the country.
For green minerals, the minister disclosed that Cabinet is currently considering a policy proposal for the exploitation, management and utilisation of these minerals.
The country’s goal, he said, is to ensure that, as much as possible, “we retain a significant proportion of the value chain of these future and other critical minerals in our country.”
The minister also called for the diversification of Ghana’s mineral resource base to exploit other lesser-known minerals, including the critical minerals required for the green energy transition.
The Ghana Geological Survey Authority, he pointed out, has conducted considerable geological investigations into these minerals, and the global energy transition makes investment in these minerals very viable.
Touching on the theme for the event, “Sustainable Mineral Resources Development and Well-Being of Mining Communities,” Mr. Jinapor stated that the theme calls for an examination of some of the most important issues in the mining industry; that is, responsible and sustainable mining, and leveraging on that for sustainable development and the well-being of the people, particularly those affected by mining operations.
He said, “It brings to sharp focus issues of value addition, maximisation of value chain development, environmentally-responsible extraction, formalisation, best practices, upscaling of exploration and, above all, optimising all stages of the mining value chain as an anchor for sustainable, inclusive and wholistic national development.”
Governor of Bank of Ghana
Speaking on the Domestic Purchase Programme, under the umbrella of Ghana’s Gold for Oil policy, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addision, said it has helped to stabilise prices on the market, increased the foreign exchange reserves and has contributed highly to the economic growth of the country.
He mentioned that, it is the expectation of the central bank that, through the efforts of this expo, as much as possible, all activities of illegalities will be reduced to the barest minimum in the country.
The governor gave the assurance that the bank is determined to provide the programme with all the needed support to make it a success now and in the future.
The chairman for the event, Awulae Angamatu Tuagyan, the paramount chief of the Gwira traditional area, lauded the organisers of the programme, for highlighting the needs of mining communities, but asked for more developmental projects to be pushed into such areas.
He stressed on the need to take into account the long-term mining impact of the actions of miners in local communities, and also called for local participation in the decision making on mining activities.
In his welcome address, the Western Regional minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, opined that this year’s programme seeks the collaboration of all stakeholders to analyse the state of corporate social responsibility (CSR) of mining companies in Ghana, and their impact on the host communities to come up with best ways these companies can contribute positively in the lives of these communities.
He also disclosed that, as part of the consolidated idea of the Ghana Mining Expo initiative, the Ghana Gold Expo Foundation, together with the Western Regional Coordinating Council, has secured a partnership of corporate social responsibility with the Oxford University.
The objective of this partnership, he said, is to setup leadership and workshop programmes to offer some technical knowledge to mining institutions on their corporate social responsibilities.
This initiative, he believes, will be a step in the right direction, and he assured would be continued and sustained.