Lands Ministry inaugurates advisory board for large-sale mining sector

A joint committee of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Chamber of Mines has been inaugurated in Accra to advise the two organisations on mining related matters and guide the adoption and implementation of policies and programmes that will propel the growth of the large-scale mining sector.

Inaugurated yesterday by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, the committee was also expected to seek relevant information from external sources, if necessary to ensure effective decision-making and resolution of challenges impeding the competitiveness and growth of the sector.

It is chaired by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker; Advisor of Mines to the Minister, Benjamin Aryee; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi and CEO of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney.

Two other members of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee and Finance and Budget Committee of the Chamber, Juliet Manteaw-Kutin and Edwin Acquaye respectively, are also part of the committee.

Some specific ongoing issues the committee would look into is the purchase of gold by the Bank of Ghana (BOG), local gold refinery and the positioning of Ghana as a hub for mining support services.

Additionally, implementation of the local content law, infrastructure development in mining communities, business operating environment of mining companies, community mining scheme and illegal as well as security at mining sites are also issues to be given the due attention by the committee.

Mr Jinapor, speaking at the event, said, the establishment of the committee was indicative of the productive relationship between the ministry and chamber in growing Ghana’s mining industry.

To further the growth, he explained that committee was expected to proffer solutions to industry concerns and issues in policy formulation, implementation as well as directives and legal regimes.

He stated that the committee had been tasked to consider the concerns of government as well as its proposed strategic initiatives on the business and operations of mining companies and agree their resolution and ramifications on the industry.

The minister urged the committee to agree on an approach that would enhance the outcomes for the country whilst not adversely impacting the competitiveness and attractiveness of Ghana’s mining industry.

He charged the committee to help in resolving emerging mining issues and work together for effective exploitation of the country’s resources.

On his part, Mr Mireku Duker pledged that the committee would work to ensure the management of the country’s mining industry was placed in a fruitful position.

President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Eric Asubonteng, reiterated the need for collaboration between the ministry and chamber especially on initiatives that ensure environmental sustainability.

In a related development, the Chamber presented an amount of GH¢778,657 to the ministry in support of the Greening Ghana project and the recently held national consultative dialogue on small-scale mining.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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