The Ghanaian Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is in collaboration with the Minerals Commission reviewing the existing laws governing minerals and mining in the country. This is with a view to adding nine more products, goods and services to enhance the capacity of all mining companies.
This move forms part of government’s effort to promote local content in the mining industry, particularly in the manufacturing and service sectors, aimed at creating employment in country. The sector Minister, Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, disclosed this during a press conference.
According to the minister, the addition to the Local Procurement List for the mining industry will ensure that locally made goods and services are available in adequate quantities and at an optimal price. This is aside from meeting the appropriate safety and quality standards.
Some of these include but are not limited to Security Services (Exclusive Ghanaian Directors and Shareholders), Legal Services exclusive of Ghanaians, Insurance Services and Financial Services both strictly incorporated in Ghana.
To further enhance the work of the Minerals Commission, the Minister noted that some measures have been taken to restructure the Commission by streamlining small scale mining activities. Furthermore, the Commission has also undergone some institutional reform. This, according to the minister, will help facilitate Government efforts in the establishment of additional Regional, District and Satellite offices of the Commission. This will, in turn, enhance visibility and monitoring of small scale mining activities.
For the first half of this year, Ghana earned US $3.1Bn from minerals’ export representing 38% of Total Merchandize Export. He further revealed that Investments in the Mining Sub-Sector had gone up 7% in 2016.
According to him, the increase in revenues accruing from the sector is as a result of increase in production of the traditional minerals coupled with favorable metal price on the international commodities market.
On Illegal mining, the Minister said despite all the contributions stated above, the mining sector has seen its fair share of challenges. The most prominent among them are challenges posed by illegal mining activities and its associated environmental implications. To address this challenge, a temporary ban was put in place to suspend artisanal and small-scale mining operations in April 2017.