Mining companies in the country have been urged to court the cooperation and support of their host communities by deepening local content participation and undertaking developmental projects.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resource, George Mireku Duker, explained that, such a move would enable mining companies operate smoothly and lead to the expected returns on investment.
Speaking during a working visit to Kibi Goldfields Limited in the Fanteakwa South District, Mr Duker said residents of host mining communities would ensure the success of mining companies if they realised the companies were concerned about the development and growth of the communities and residents.
The visit forms part of activities to improve the relationship between the government and the companies, and also ensure that large and small-scale mining companies in the country were operating in accordance with the mining laws of the country.
Often times, he noted that, mining companies were only interested in generating revenue and profits from the resources deposited in the communities without any deliberate efforts to make the communities and residents a priority.
“Most of the tension we see and hear of in mining communities are as a result of locals feeling that they’ve been left out in the exploration of minerals in their area.
“That is not healthy. We must work to create a mutually satisfactory relationship between the communities and the companies
and create the ideal conditions for the companies to thrive,” Mr Duker stated.
By executing developmental projects in health, sports, education, and youth development, the Deputy Minister said “the companies will be performing their fiduciary duty to the communities as well as the government”.
He said the government was undertaking a deliberate move aimed at growing Ghanaian giants in the mining industry to ensure skilled Ghanaians hold key and strategic positions in leading mining companies across the globe.
He charged Kibi Goldfields to undertake developmental projects including road rehabilitation in Kibi and its environs as part of its social responsibilities.
Edmund Amoah, Human Resource Manager of Kibi Goldfields, noted that the company was currently executing some projects in the communities and pledged its readiness to identify and undertake projects that would meet the needs of the communities.
The company, he said, was working on line with the requirements and conditions detailed in its operational license.
In a related development, Mr Duker advised Narawa Mining Company, another mining firm in the Eastern Region, to avail itself for investment opportunities to be able to undertake mining on its concession.
He said the government had put together a pool of investors who were ready to inject capital in mining operations, hence the need for companies facing financial challenges to approach the Ministry for the required support.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS