Integration, key to sustainable mining – Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said integration of mining to the various sectors of the economy is key to ensuring sustainability of the mining industry.

He said the sharp structural and aesthetic contrast between mining communities in Ghana and other areas of the world needed to be reversed.

He, therefore, called for inclusive growth and sustainability in the mining communities by industry giants to reverse the trend.

“We are looking at job creation in a more integrated manner and that is why the Community Mining Concept is key to solving the sharp contrast,” he said.

Vice President Bawumia was speaking on Thursday at the launch of the Ghana Mining Week 2021 in Takoradi.

The Ghana Mining Week was preceded by a gold expo in 2020 to advance policies to ensure that the small scale mining sector, in particular, operated within laws and procedures that sustained the environment and promoted responsive mining.

He said Community Mining was key to solving issues affecting small scale mining, which posed greater risks to the environment and the people involved.

So far, 20 community mining sites have been activated across the country, providing 3,000 jobs each.

“We are hoping to add about 100,000 small scale mining sites to create over 300,000 jobs….we are also providing them with the machines that used little water to get over 99 per cent of the gold ore.

Dr Mawumia said the Government was keen on adding value to the industry and making it more viable through the integrated gold industry, saying: “We cannot continue to export raw gold, we need to add value.”

“The community mining initiative is a great game-changer in the gold mining industry, especially in promoting sanity among the small scale sector.”

He said despite the government’s role in driving that agenda, the industry giants had a greater role to play to achieve more for the country.

The Vice President lauded the Bank of Ghana for the bold decision to shore up the country’s gold reserve through domestic gold purchases.

For over 60 years, Ghana had not added to its reserve though she was a great force in the global gold business.

“This is why I commend Mr Opata and his team at the Central Bank for the decision to buy more gold to boost reserves and revenue to safeguard the country’s economic prospect in the future,” he said.

Vice President Bawumia said Turkey, India, and the United Arab Emirates, among others, had huge reserves in terms of gold, a classical example to emulate.

The government, he said, had completed all due diligence with the first purchases in June to shore up the country’s currency, expressing regret over the smuggling of gold.

Dr Bawumia, therefore, pledged the country’s commitment to designing a good framework that did not harm children yet unborn, plants, water and other resources for posterity.

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, called on industry players to work together in developing the gold value chain.

He said government with its partners hoped to build a robust industry through viable and prudent policies.

“We also intend to continue to uphold the rule of law. In this respect government believes in sustainability and responsible Mining,” he said.

Mr Jinapor said the Ministry also believed in diversification and hoping to do more, with particular attention to the salt industry.

Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister, said the 2020 gold expo had resulted in the introduction of a mini-equipment to control mercury and cyanide to increase gold recovery to about 90 per cent.

He added that the sector would also be formalised through proper data to enhance best practices.

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