Forum On Challenges Facing Mining Ends

A forum designed to bring together stakeholders in the mining industry to brainstorm on challenges confronting the industry and indentify solutions to them, has been held at Tarkwa in the Western Region.

Among others, the forum discussed the technology that the industry needed, environmental issues and good practices to enable the mining industry to grow.

Organised by the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM), the forum was themed “Ensuring a sustainable win-win relationship between service providers and mining companies.”

Nine firms including AngloGold Ashanti, Asanko Gold, Endeavour Mining, Ghana Manganese Company, Gold Fields Ghana, Golden Star Resources, Kinross Chirano, Newmont Ghana and Perseus Mining, and about 21 service providers and contractors, took part.

As part of the programme, participants mounted exhibitions of their products and services, to showcase what they do in the industry.

Opening the exhibition, which preceded the programme, the Chief Executive Officer of GCM, Sulemanu Koney, noted that the mining industry was experiencing difficult times, and stressed the need for a platform for the stakeholders to meet and discuss how the business could be made better.

He said, the stakeholders need to make some sacrifices for suppliers and mining companies to see how local content could be improved for the development of industry and the country.

The forum must also ensure that affiliates of the Chamber are even more closely aligned with the mining companies and provide a platform for both parties to discuss a variety of issues concerning mining requirements for quality products and services, and address the challenges faced by the suppliers.

“It is good for the mining companies to engage and understand each other, and see how we can move ahead. Equally, it is important that we bring the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and other regulators in mines to share ideas on how we improve good services,” he added.

According to Mr. Koney, the Ghana Statistical Service estimates show that, in 2013 for every one dollar released for the export of minerals, 0.54 dollars was used to defray importation cost, adding that the Chamber spent $1.8 million to purchase inputs into the country, whilst $35.6 million was used to import consumables, out of the $4.78 billion released for the export of minerals.

He said the major gold producing members consumed 5,719 tons of caustic soda, costing $4.1milion, whilst   23,000 tons of cyanide, worth $71.1million, was used in 2013.

Mr. Koney noted that the decline of gold price, inflation, the upward review of statutory fees and charges, had affected inputs and business processes, but suggested that the industry could discuss how to tackle the undercurrents.

“We need to address the challenges, and tap some of the   opportunities and advantages and see how we can optimise growth,” he said.

Mr. Koney said the number of mining companies joining the Chamber was an indication that, it would continue to grow and become a vibrant and potent force in the economic drive of the country, adding “We are ready to listen to all decision makers including the local suppliers.”

“We will continue to build advocacy in the mining value chain, and the important role of the suppliers in advocacy engagement with government functionaries and Civil Society Organisations (CSO). We will also provide opportunities for the affiliates to expand their businesses in the mining industry,” he added.

From Clement Adzei Boye,Tarkwa

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