The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has called on mining companies to deepen their engagement with local businesses to create the needed linkages for entrepreneurs to benefit from the mining value chain.
Speaking at the Ghana Chamber of Mines flagship mining awards, Mrs Oteng-Gyasi lauded the contributions of mining companies to the country’s development and reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that the industry was linked to the other sectors of the economy.
The Ghana Mining Industry Awards is to celebrate individuals and organisations that have worked tirelessly in the mining sector over the past years and contributed immensely to national development.
She said government was desirous to see the minerals sector connected to other areas of the economy to bring out the necessary benefits to the nation.
She said the discussions on responsible mining must continue until the point where every player in the industry would appreciate the need for sustainable mining.
She said it was important that the value the nation derived from mining was borne out of responsible extractive practices and progressive regulatory regimes.
“The chamber and its members must work with government to continue to set even high standards in mining operations,” she added.
On his part, Mr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said Ghana could not continue to be complacent over its achievements in gold production on the continent as other players in the sub-region continued to build on their competitive advantage.
He said the Chamber continues to engage its key stakeholders to ensure that the country benefited immensely from the minerals exploited in infrastructural expansion, job creation, health delivery, and education.
Also, the Chamber continues to collaborate with the Minerals Commission in the implementation of the local content regulation that seeks to boost the participation of local manufacturing businesses in the mining sector.
“At this stage in the life of the Chamber, we are particularly interested in deepening access to opportunities in the value chain of mining and have therefore introduced processes to support national and community initiatives that can spawn job creation and development.
Mr Addo-Kufuor said aside the regular fiscal contribution to national development and the community development initiatives of member companies, the Chamber had provided support to various organisations to carry out activities that inure to the benefit of the country.
It is in this direction that the Chamber intends to support the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation with a $100,000 for its programme on technological innovation.
“We are hopeful that the support will form a good foundation to encourage innovation and scientific development in the technological space,” he said.
Mr Addo-Kufuor said members of the Chamber were committed to responsible mining, not only environmental sustainability but also the essential issues of social development that requires members to uphold the rights of people and communities impacted by mining operations and also invest in long-term development initiatives.
“Pursuant to this, the Chamber has been working with the necessary institutions to identify ways to ensure that the value chain of mining brings great benefit to local businesses and the economy. We are pleased to host officials of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners as we collaborate to promote sustainable mining activities in Ghana,” he said.
The Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Golden Star Resources, Mr. Daniel Owiredu received the Mining Personality of the Year award for his sterling performance in leading the Golden Star Resources group in Ghana. Mary Anita Appianin of AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine was named the Female Miner of the Year.
Newmont Golden Ridge Ltd, Akyem Mine took home the prize for Best Performer in Environmental Management, while environmental journalist, Edem Srem was declared winner of the category on Best Mining Reporter for his documentary on the Atiwa Forest.
Ghana Manganese Company won the Best Performer in Local Content while Newmont Golden Ridge Limited, Akyem Mine was the Best Performer in Environmental Management.