A clarion call has been made on industry players; international and indigenous companies, and experts, to proffer solutions to eradicate illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, from Ghana.
The call as resonated at the ongoing, maiden edition of the Ghana Gold Expo held in Takoradi, by the Western Region Minister, Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, is to trigger and propel the development of technologies and other innovative solutions to correct the menace caused by galamsey, whiles promoting responsible mining in the artisanal and small scale mining industry.
The Minister in his welcome address at the event, noted that the expo could provide opportunities and synergies, required to transform the artisanal and small scale industry.
“We will welcome workable solutions from this forum to stamp out galamsey, restore devastated lands and water bodies, as well as boost community mining scheme through funding and technology transfer. This situation certainly provides opportunity for businesses” he stated.
He believes the right incentives and drive could be nurtured with this platform to support the realization of the aspirations of communities where gold is mined.
“…our quest in the region, is to have our own towns and communities where golf is mined, developed into cities comparable to the Johannesburg of South Africa in order to truly reflect the value of gold in these localities” he added.
In fulfillment of this dream, Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah trust that mining companies could enhance their community and social support programmes in a manner that promotes and accelerate development in host communities.
“And enhance community social responsibility projects. This idea, we believe is workable. It is already being practiced by Goldfields in the Tarkwa-Prestea area” Dr. Okyere Darko Mensah reiterated.
AfCTA and Investment opportunities in the Region
Recognizing the potential impact the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) will make in the mining industry, the Western Region and Ghana at large, the Minister entreated participants and industry players to consider investments in the regions, arguing that; “the Western Region is better placed to serve as the headquarters for the mining and mining related activities”
“We therefore hope to see this actualize through direct investments, exploration, financing, research and technology transfer.
“This Gold Expo is a call to investors in the area of exploration, mining, processing, refinery, jewelry, and mining tourism among others. In the Western Region the financial sector is very welcoming. The legal framework in our country is very facilitating and investor friendly. The tax and incentive regime ensures the best returns on investments” he added.
The Ghana Gold Expo 2020 is on the theme “Promoting Zero mercury”. It seek to reinforce Ghana’s commitment towards the Minamata Conversion, by identifying and adopting affordable and cleaner solutions to eliminate the use of mercury in Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, improve livelihoods and build sustainable communities.