HON. OSAH MILLS LAUNCHES THE MINERALS AND MINING POLICY OF GHANA
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Nii Osah Mills launched the Minerals and Mining Policy aimed at ensuring that mining is integrated to the economy and contributes to the sustainable development of the country on 23rd February, 2016.
The policy which was initiated 17 years ago had to go through a comprehensive review by various stake holders.
The sixty paged policy document themed ‘’ Minerals and Mining Policy of Ghana” is to highlight on the regulation of small-scale mining, link mining to development, effect minerals licensing regime, regulate the environment as well as address occupational hazard and ensure safety and fiscal policy in mining.
Speaking at the Launch, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Nii Osah Mills expressed his delight in the policy which has been long coming. He stated that the first draft was initiated in 1999 and completed in 2001, thereafter, the Commission with the assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat, begun a review of the 2001 draft and after various consultations and reviews by independent bodies as well as with inputs from stakeholders, the current document was developed.
He pointed out that though the sector currently contributes 16% to government’s domestic revenue, the growth in the sector has not been without cost. One of the major costs, he said, that needs to be highlighted is the environmental damage from mining activities. He emphasized that though a plethora of policies, laws and regulations exist, the issue is still a source of worry to government,
He pointed out that though the country is blessed with other numerous deposits as base metals and other industrial minerals, we have restricted ourselves too long on the exploitation of the traditional minerals such as gold, diamond, bauxite, manganese to the neglect of these other minerals. He therefore expressed the need for the diversification of the sector
He added that Ghana as a country will increase benefits from the mining industry if the industry is recognized as a growth pole to spawn activities in other sectors of the economy, thus, effective implementation of the Minerals and Mining policy is a necessary catalyst towards the achievement of such goals.
The Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Toni Aubynn, said the policy is to make mining a catalyst for development and to diversify the country’s mineral production. The policy, he said, is also to enhance the capacity of the state institutions and strengthen inter-agency collaboration in the management and development of the minerals resources. It will optimize tax revenue generation and ensure transparent and equitable distribution of mineral wealth, he emphasized.