Lands Ministry to set up committee on mining concessions – Mining Committee
Accra, July 4, GNA – The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources will constitute a joint committee made-up of Chamber of Mines, Minerals Commission and the Small-Scale Miners Association, to develop modalities for relinquishment of unused concessions of large-scale mining firms to small-scale miners.
The decision forms part of the government’s resolve to find lasting solutions and holistic policy intervention to curb the menace of illegal mining, otherwise known as ‘‘galamsey’’under the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) for sustainable livelihoods for small-scale miners.
Madam Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, a Deputy Minister of the Ministry in charge of Mining, told the Ghana News Agency in Accra when the sector minister, Mr John Peter Amewu, engaged a delegation from the Chamber of Mines, the Minerals Commission and key stakeholders in the extractive industry on new mining policy proposals.
The meeting intended to solicit inputs from key stakeholders in the mining sector ahead of the Ministry’s plans to submit the final policy proposals to the Cabinet for consideration.
The Deputy Minister made reference to government’s plans to refine 30 per cent of all gold produced in the country by large- scale commercial mining companies, Mining Operational Audit, Local Content Regulation and relinquishment of all unused concessions by large mining firms to be allotted to small-scale mining co-operatives.
She said the government would build a strong supply basin in the country to support the mining industry under the National Supply Development Programme and the meeting afforded the Minister the opportunity to discuss some of the policy proposals with the industry players.
Regarding the relinquishment of unused concessions of large-scale commercial mining firms to small-scale miners, Madam Oteng-Gyasi said members of the Chamber were positive in their response.
She said the government was exploring the opportunity to revamp Sankofa Gold Mine in Prestea Huni Valley District and indicated that some of the large-scale mining firms in the Western Region gave positive response in that regard.
Dr Alfred Baku, the Executive Vice President and Head of the West Africa, Goldfields Ghana Limited, who was part of the meeting commended the Ministry for having lined up laudable policy agenda and engaging the Chamber for a fruitful discussion.
Commenting on some of the concerns raised by the Chamber, Dr Baku said they expressed concern about delay in granting mining permits and licences.
He said the operational permits enabled them to execute their capital projects and delays had dire financial consequences on them.
With regards to the government’s proposal for large-scale mining firms to relinquish their unused concessions to small-scale mining cooperatives, Dr Baku said there was the need to constitute a joint committee to develop terms of reference to guide the process.
By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA