Goldridge Ghana Limited and the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) have signed an agreement that seeks to give the mining sector a major facelift by discouraging illegal mining activities.
The agreement will see one of the leading gold exporters in the country, Goldridge Ghana, provide GNASSM and its members logistical support in order to formalise their activities and adopt internationally recognised responsible mining practices.
The goal of providing the equipment is to help the miners operate in an environmentally-friendly way while increasing their productivity and production volumes.
GNASSM members that decide to take advantage of the programme under the agreement will have access to finance from Goldridge and in return, channel their gold to the Goldridge refinery. Goldridge will then export the refined gold to legal international markets.
Speaking at a short ceremony in Accra to pen the deal, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Goldridge Ghana Limited, Dr. Sledge Nana Yaw Duodu, expressed excitement over the consensus reached by the two bodies to work hand in hand to improve the mining sector.
He said one of the reasons he setup Goldridge was to promote Ghana as the leading producer of gold in Africa and that he was excited that finally such an agreement has been signed to give the sector a major facelift that will be beneficial to all stakeholders.
“All Ghana gold miners deserve to be recognised and receive fair pay. I have made it Goldridge’s mission to unlock the full value of our gold sector through driving formalization of mining operations, responsible practices, propelling in-country refining and accessing global markets.
The signing of this agreement paves the way to the realisation of this important transformation.
Together with GNASSM, we have set up the perfect partnership where the association brings the miners and Goldridge brings the means to sanitise the entire value chain,” Dr. Sledge Duodu said.
He further indicated that the small scale mining sector produces about 50 tonnes of gold every year which contributes to making the country the number one producer of gold on the continent, hence the need to provide them with the right platform to sustain production in an internationally recognised manner.
“It has always been my vision to partner and uplift small scale miners. We have setup an office in Dubai which is a wholly owned Ghanaian business with the goal of showcasing the small scale miners and also build a bullion trade between Ghana, Dubai and other countries.
Underpinning the agreement and the programme is a traceability and due diligence system from mine site to global market that the partners are developing according to international standards, and with which the miners and Goldridge will have to comply. Each and every single one of the programme’s components is crucial to its success: formalization; responsible mining practices; due diligence; traceability; in-country refining; and export to global markets, must all be up to internationally recognized standards,” he noted.
He added that if one component is missing or not up to standard, the value chain will not be recognised internationally: “When it all works, it will fully benefit gold miners and their communities.”
“Small-Scale Gold Mining will become a significant contributor to Ghana’s socioeconomic development, and the country will reap the full value of its precious resources,”Dr. Sledge Duodu explained.
Gold refinery in Accra
Dr. Sledge Duodu further stated that his company has began the construction of a gold refinery in Accra which is expected to be completed middle of next year.
Upon completion, he said the gold refinery will be able to refine up to 1000kg of gold everyday.
“Goldridge is taking a lead role in Ghana’s transition from raw gold producer to refined gold producer. This is a key component for the country to fully benefit from its precious resources. We have started building a refinery in East Legon which is expected to be completed middle of next year. It is a 500kg per eight hours shift meaning if we run two shifts, we can refine 1000kg everyday.
Ghana’s total output is about 150 tonnes out of this, 50 tonnes is produced by the small scale miners. This refinery is not being built to refine only the gold from small scale miners but also large scale miners in the country and also West Africa,” he stated.
For his part, President of GNASSM, Philip Kwasi Akufo, said the Association and its 2,000 members are not only ready but confident the agreement will improve mining practices, by helping them to access international markets under fair conditions, finance, equipment as well as improve their working conditions and livelihood.
“GNASSM is thrilled to partner with Goldridge. Dr Sledge is highly respected by miners, governments and Ghanaian institutions. He brings leadership, the vision to transform the sector and has the means to make it happen. Already many non-members are looking to join the Association in order to benefit from the programme. This is going to be transformational,”Mr. Akufo said.
General secretary of GNASSM, Godwin Armah also explained how the agreement will improve the fight against galamsey: “The agreement is about Goldridge supplying Small Scale Miners with the requisite technology and equipment that we need to use to recover our gold and ensure that the environment is intact.”
He said the agreement will also see to it that the small scale miners can track their gold upstream.
“We are happy to sign this agreement. This is something we have deliberated on with Goldridge for a very long time and we want to add value to gold so that our jewelry industry will get the pure carat that they want in order to meet international standards,” he added.
Jewellers Association of Ghana
President of the Jewellers Association of Ghana, Yaw Duah said the Association will take advantage of the agreement to produce quality jewelries that will establish Ghana as a producer of quality gold.
“We are looking forward to take advantage of whatever will come out of the agreement between Goldridge and GNASSM. Ours is more like what makes the industry flourish and what we produce is what gets the international market to know we have quality gold in this country.
So we are truly excited about this. We think this will help us and strengthen the entire industry.”
Goldridge Ghana Limited is a Ghanaian privately-owned gold trading and export company established in 2015 by Dr. Yaw Duodu, an entrepreneur.
Since 2019, Goldridge has exported over 1.2 tons of gold to a broad portfolio of international clients based in Hong-Kong, India, Dubai, Portugal and Turkey.
It recently opened a trading operation in Dubai and is setting up its refinery in Accra, as part of its vision to be a major player in the global gold sector, recognised for bringing small-scale Ghanaian and West African gold to international market.