To this end, Ghana has proposed to Zambia to collaborate with University of Mines and Technology (UMAT), in Tarkwa in the Western Region, to build capacities in mineral exploration.
Both countries have also proposed to work towards producing ammonium nitrate, which is sourced from other countries for their mining industries, to retain some of the revenues that are being repatriated.
These issues were highlighted yesterday at a discussion among the officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission, led by the sector Minister, Nii Osah Mills and a Zambian delegation led by the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water, Chris Bwalya Yaluma, during a two-day working visit to the country.
The delegation, which was in the country to share experiences and learn best practices, were received by Nii Mills and later briefed by officials of the Minerals Commission on its operations in regulating the mining sector, as well as the legislative framework governing the mining sector.
Both Ghana and Zambia have a century of experience in mining — mainly gold in the case of Ghana and copper in the case of Zambia.
The visit by the Zambian delegation is seen as follow-up to an initiative by President John Mahama and his Zambian counterpart, to deepen co-operation between the two countries in natural resources exploitation.
Mining in the two countries is dominated by multinational companies, who are very often accused of exploiting the natural resources without ploughing back much into the economies of the two countries.
Mr. Yaluma expressed regret that Zambians had not “recorded significant benefits” after 100 years of copper mining, saying that the minerals are being exported raw without any value addition to create job opportunities in the country.
“We think that we should start interacting with reputable mining countries like Ghana for best practices on how we can make mining beneficial to our people, we cannot work in isolation,” Mr Yaluma noted.
“We resolve to work together with Ghana and other mining countries on the continent to avoid exploitation by investors, our legislative framework should be harmonised so that we all speak the same language to the investors,” he said.
The Zambia Minister of Mines, Energy and Water, assured that the delegation was in the country to learn best practices and share ideas on how to make the sector more beneficial and “not on a talk shop.”
Nii Mills urged the two countries to begin to work closer to achieve the African Mining Vision adding that the UMAT and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, offered the best avenue for Zambia to build capacity for its mining sector.
He presented copies of Ghana’s mineral laws and regulations to his visiting counterpart, who promised to study and use them to fill in the gap in his country’s legislative framework on the mining sector.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman