Ghana launches Minerals and Mining policy
Ghana’s Minerals and Mining Policy developed to ensure that mining contributes to the structural transformation of the economy was launched in Accra by Nii Osah Mills, Minister of Lands, and Natural Resources.
The policy sought to link mining with other sectors to catalyze sustainable development, optimize revenue for mineral collection, generate skilled manpower as well as create demand for local goods and services.
The Minister said the policy forms the basis of the country’s Medium Term Development Policy Frameworks from the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy I and II through the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II.
He said the country since 1983 initiated number of programmes during the Economic Recovery Programme including the rehabilitation and retooling of existing mines and the liberalization of the exchange rate to attract investment into the mining sector.
Mr Mills said the policy has gone through broad stakeholder consultations and that the first draft was initiated in 1999 and completed in 2001.
He said the Minerals Commission with assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat, begun a review of the 2001 draft and after various consultations and reviews by independent bodies, the current document was developed.
Mr Mills said the highlights of the provisions include regularization of small-Scale mining in the country where they would be assisted to improve upon their operations and ensure that mining is done in an environmentally safe manner to derive its maximum contribution.
He urged mining graduates from the University of Mines and Technology to venture into small-scale mining to give it the necessary facelift.
Another highlight of the policy is the environmental regulations to ensure that mining is carried out in a modern, safe and environmentally sound manner.
The Minister said to further boost the benefits accruing to the economy from mining, there should be a conscious effort aimed at integrating the mining industry with the rest of the local economy.
He said the establishment of a gold refinery has attracted a considerable debate, adding that a viable jewellery industry could flourish only if jewelers could have easy access to relatively cheap refined gold.
Mr Mills said the country will increase benefits from the mining industry if the industry is recognized as a growth pole to spawn activities in other sectors of the economy through effective implementation of the policy.
Dr Tony Aubynn, Chief Executive of Minerals Commission, said Ghana is among three African countries to develop a comprehensive policy in the mining sector.
He said the country is well endowed with substantial mineral resources and that Gold is the predominant mineral produced accounting for over 90 per cent of all mineral revenues annually over the past decades.
He said the policy would be reviewed after every five years unless dramatic changes occur in the minerals and mining industry, in which case it may be reviewed as and when necessary.