Steven Blessing Ackah, Executive Director of ViewTag Ghana Gold Expo, has announced that preparation is ongoing for the launch of Gold Expo Report 2022 in July this year.
The Ghana Gold Expo & Mining Week is an initiative by Viewtag-Ghana Gold Expo and Western Regional Coordinating Council that gathers industry regulators, large and small-scale miners, mineral processors, mining surveyors, environmental management experts, equipment manufacturers, banking and financial consultants, and academia to craft a new course for the industry. The initiative has been running since 2020, with the unflinching support from the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The 3rd edition was hosted in Takoradi, the Western Region of Ghana. The event covered speeches, presentations and panel discussions on various topics concerning the Ghana Mining Sector.
According to Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister and host of the event, the 2022 Ghana Gold Expo Mining Week Report presents various discussions that took place during the event, and will be launched in July, 2022. He explained that the report contains four main sections:
Section 1: The Potential of Mining for Sustainable Development
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government, together with his appointees designated for the country’s mining industry, have on various platforms acknowledged that the country’s mining activities should maximise social and economic benefits, as well as effectively address negative environmental and social impacts. In this regard, government seeks to build strong capacities to develop, manage and regulate the mining industry in the interest of sustainable development. This section of the report covered the speech of the President of Ghana and his designated officials during the event on the theme for the event. It also details the sustainability story of Gold Fields Ghana Limited as presented by the acting Executive Vice President, Joshua Mortoti.
Section 2: Environmental Management and Sustainability
Whereas the mining industry provides vital raw materials and energy for a large number of other industries, its operations are viewed globally as a threat to the natural surroundings, with environmental effects on the air, water and soils. In recent times, there has been a renewed debate about mining and its sustainability owing to public concern about the current degradation of the environment. Some of the highlighted potentially serious environmental impacts of mining include chronic soil erosion, heavy metals overloading, and acid mine drainage. Therefore, the main hurdle for industry players is to prove that they contribute to the well-being of the current generation without compromising the quality of life of the next generation. Companies in the mining industry are expected to respond positively to these challenges by assuming responsibilities in community and national development. They must also be able to deal with the compatibility between their production operations and the environment.
Industry players in the Ghanaian mining space discussed the environmental implications of their activities while attempting to find sustainable solutions to the resulting environmental concerns. These discussions are presented in this section of the report.
Section 3: Mining and Investment
The mineral sector has attracted billions of US dollars in investment in the form of FDI representing over 56 percent of total FDI to Ghana for mine expansion and rehabilitation, mineral exploration, and mines development, with over 80 percent of the investment going to the gold mining sector. The investments have resulted in a significant increase in mineral extraction and export, particularly gold, out of the country and have led to tremendous growth in the sector’s contribution to the foreign exchange earnings of the economy. The Ghana Gold Expo Mining Week presented an opportunity for industry players to discuss investment in the mining sector. The Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Income Investment Fund, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng of the Government of Ghana, together with the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, and some other industry players, discussed how the mineral income of the country is being put to use, as well as promoting feasible fiscal policies in the sector to promote local participation and investment into the exploratory sector of the mining sector.
Section 4: Gold Trading and Export Formalisation
Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) has become a growing source of employment in Ghana; but formalisation is still a big challenge and constitutes the root of a substantial number of problems and negative impacts associated with ASGM. Like other mining activities, ASGM is cyclical, and because of some unique structural and financial characteristics, it is acutely sensitive to economic variations. It can appear to be transitory due to its characteristically short-term nature; the available evidence strongly suggests that ASGM is not going to diminish as an economic activity in the short term. However, the high levels of informality and illegality pose a difficult but necessary question that was addressed by the Bank of Ghana and other stakeholders during the Ghana Gold Expo Mining Week, 2022. The section reports on the progress so far with the Bank of Ghana Gold Purchasing Programme, the efforts of the Ghana Revenue Authority in promoting the export of gold, and the impact of blockchain technology on the formalisation of the supply chain.
It is expected that the report will be presented to the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, key mining organisations, and 42 Ghana Missions abroad.