Expert urges bold steps to correct past errors in Ghana’s mining sector

Mining Industry

For Ghana to correct its mistakes in the mining sector there is the need for bold steps to institute strong and well thought-out regulatory frameworks for the sector, Steve Manteaw, Co-Chairman of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) has observed.

He said it was time Ghana took the bold initiatives to introduce similar governance systems in the oil and gas sector into the mining sector.

Ghana is Africa’s second largest gold exporter after South Africa, with formal mining lasting over 150 years, but with no clear evince of the role minerals and mining have played in national development except for annual budgetary support.

“If today we have a petroleum revenue management Act, it is because we have learnt the lessons of our failure to do it in the minerals sector which led to poor quality of spending. So going into the oil sector we are doing the right thing,” he noted in an interview on Wednesday.

Manteaw who is also chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) the legally mandated public oversight body for the oil and gas sector observed that these steps taken were making positive impact on the oil and gas sector.

The extractive sector governance expert who was speaking after the two-day workshop organized by the Chamber of Mines pointed out that if for nothing at all Ghana could boast of a the gas processing plant built with financing arrangements from the China Development Bank with oil proceeds used to repay the cost.

“But what we have forgotten, is that the mistakes in the minerals sector sill persist so we need to go back there and do for minerals what we are doing for oil today,” Manteaw observed, insisting it was time for Ghana to sequence properly its mineral sector governance framework.

Starting with a mining vision, Manteaw said the country needed to spell out clearly the role it would like mining to play in its development.

If the country had such a vision, coupled with a well thought-out policy and regulatory framework, he said Ghana would perhaps not be receiving all of its mineral royalties in cash, but also in minerals such as gold.

“With that you can develop your jewelry industry , which is one way of creating jobs. And that will also help the country export value-added minerals for higher returns. In addition, it will also make our mining and jewelry manufacturing areas tourism attractions,” he argued.

Ghana’s total export proceeds for the mining sector in 2017 was six billion US Dollars. This, experts believe could better benefit the country if part of these minerals were exported as refined or finished products. Enditem

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