The Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (GMWU) has urged mining companies to intensify their exploration activities to help prolong the life span of mines.
Mr Abdul-Moomin Gbana, the General Secretary of the Union, who said this at the National Executive Council meeting in Tarkwa, said following the colossal gains most mining companies made last year and the positive outlook demonstrated this year, mining companies should take strategic advantage of the price boom and invest in modern infrastructure, expand existing ones and also increase productivity.
According to him, this was timely and they believed it was a substantial step towards the creation of decent and sustainable jobs, increased the sector’s contribution to the national purse through taxation and other statutory payments, as well as create opportunity to uplift livelihoods of mining communities and modernize the current deplorable mining community infrastructure.
He said unlike other sectors, which had been heavily affected since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, “the global gold industry and by extension the mining industry so far stands out as the utmost beneficiary of this global health crisis”.
“Gold since the beginning of last year has seen an unprecedented break-through in its price as it soared above two thousand US dollars an ounce (US$2,000/oz) towards the end of last year, and has maintained relative stability since the beginning of this year. Indeed, the World Gold Council has posited that “Gold has been on a generally positive trend for the past few years””.
Touching on COVID-19, Mr Gbana stated that this year had been very stressful in the history of mankind, considering the impact of the pandemic on millions of lives across the globe and on socio-economic activities.
The General Secretary said when he addressed the Council in December 2, 2020, “the statistics in respect of COVID-19 infections globally stood at 57,274,018 with 1,368,000 deaths; while Ghana recorded 51,667 infections with 323 deaths”.
“As of August 17, 2021 statistics in terms of global infections stood at 206 million with 4.35 million deaths; 110,000 infections in Ghana with 906 deaths. In percentage terms, this means that global infections and deaths for the period went up by 261 percent and 218 percent respectively”.
He mentioned that similarly in Ghana, infections and deaths for the period went up 113 percent and 180 percent respectively, adding that, “COVID-19 is real, people are dying and families are being displaced day after day. These statistics clearly shows the extent of devastation caused by this pandemic to human life”.
Mr Gbana stressed that “even though we now have vaccines albeit in short supply, we encourage you to take them. These vaccines according to experts do not entirely insulate us from contracting COVID-19 although it could potentially reduce your chances. It is therefore important that we continue to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 preventive protocols”.
Whilst commending the Government for the strides made on the fight against COVID-19, the General Secretary “used the opportunity to call on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to pay particular attention to the report of the Adhoc committee of Parliament formed on July 8, 2021 to investigate a procurement contract between Ghana and a United Arab Emirate Royal, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum and a private company, S. L. Global, for the supply of Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccines and the subsequent infractions uncovered which were attributed to Government officials such as the Minister of Health”.
“GMWU is pleading with the President to takes immediate action by ensuring that the law takes its fullest course in order to serve as a deterrent to other Government officials and bolster the chances targeted towards regaining the fast-waning public confidence in the ruling class,” he said.
The General Secretary on behalf of the Management Committee expressed appreciation to members for their continuous support and cooperation, added that, “indeed, the challenges are daunting but as long as we continue to work together, we shall surely overcome”.