Dr. Tony Aubynn, immediate-past Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, has called for the merging of the mining regulatory bodies.
That, he said, had become the standard practice for ensuring uniformity in the enforcement of laws and regulations in the mining sector and cited Australia where this had brought enormous benefits.
“Ghana is currently facing varied challenges in the effective enforcement of mining regulations because there are too many institutions controlling the sector.”
Dr. Aubynn was delivering a paper on the theme “A responsible and sustainable mining industry; a partner for national development”, at a public lecture in Kumasi.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines organized the programme to mark its 90th anniversary, and in attendance were traditional authorities, representatives of local and international mining companies, technocrats, mining researchers and media.
This was meant to take a critical look at the sector over the last nine decades – achievements, challenges and future projections.
It took into cognizance, the employment opportunities, wealth-creation, infrastructural development and environmental impact assessment.
Dr. Aubynn raised concern about the quality of personnel employed for supervision and monitoring of mining activities and said currently only about 40 per cent of staff at the Minerals Commission had the technical skills needed to efficiently achieve its mandate.
“We have over the years lost the core of our technical staff to other countries, and this has depleted the mining sector of the qualified workforce needed to ensure responsible mining.”
Ghana, he noted, had in the last two decades, registered more than 1, 000 multi-national and small-scale mining companies, which demanded employing equally competent personnel to deal with technical issues arising.
Dr. Aubynn also suggested the use of Information and Communications Telecommunication (ICT) to monitor mining activities.
This, he said, had become imperative to identify on time any malpractices including illegal small-scale mining activities detrimental to the ecology.