Leading mining companies in the country, and the West African sub-region, have been urged to gear up for the introduction of a Mining Index on the subregional stock exchanges, and help to accelerate their growth and significance on the continent.
This follows a call by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, for mining companies to hasten the development of the capacity to interact with the world’s natural resources banks, fund managers and the leading stock exchanges.
To make it a success, he said: “This will require deep collaboration among the local stock exchanges (Ghana Stock Exchange), its regulators, Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as mining firms to incentivise Ghanaians to own listed greenfield exploration projects as the upside on such investments tend to be higher.”
Speaking at this year’s West Africa Mining and Power Exhibition Conference (WAMPEX 2022), Dr. Bawumia recognised the galvanising role Ghana played in rekindling the enduring place of Africa in the global mining setting in the 1980s.
“We see in this hope the seeds of the re-emergence of the old Gold Coast, now Ghana, in the befitting role of the mining hub of Africa. This means that we have to up our game. We need to ensure that all the various components and linkages of the mining industry are firmly established and maintained at a very functional level,” he added.
This, he revealed will stretch from concession acquisition, adequate funding for exploration, through actual mining, refining, corporate management, and development as well as rapid emergence of reputable upstream and downstream services that should all be fully established in Ghana.
Also, the Vice President noted that, small-scale mining, which was initially unappreciated by many, is steadily picking itself up and is increasingly becoming an important segment of the mining industry, accounting for about 30 percent of total national gold production in the last few years.”
To this end, he said, government has taken critical steps towards the achievement of steady progress, particularly through the introduction of the Community Mining Scheme, in the small-scale mining sub-sector.
These developments underline the government’s determination to establish a sustainable, healthy, viable, indigenous, and environmentally sound mining industry which can generate strong local participation that would creatively contribute with all local and international partners to promote sustainable development.
On the back of the inability of the continent to fully and significantly realise the impact of its mineral resources in its development, over the years, Dr. Bawumia called for a new approach, particularly for resource-rich countries in the subregion to realise this economic transformation pivoted on it mineral resources.
“We need a strategy to enable us to pull the mineral resource-rich countries in West Africa and beyond together to assume the mantle in the transformation of our economies with a greater awareness of mining as a more comprehensive and transformational economic activity and as a key backbone for our country.”
Furthermore, he said: “Within the framework of ECOWAS, we need to kickstart and integrate the sub-regional economies through mining to achieve a far-reaching strategy to leverage our mining industries for an accelerated and broad-based transformation.”
“To realize this, however, will require a strong partnership between government and mining industry players. A partnership based on openness and mutual respect that yields positive outcomes for government, host communities and mining investors,” he added.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, also speaking at WAMPEX 2022 recognised the economic challenges posed by the pandemic and now worsened by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The mining sector, as a key sector in the global economy, he said is anticipated to help address some of these emanating challenges. Against this backdrop, he was hopeful that the deliberations at WAMPEX 2022 will help provide some of the answers.
Also, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, in charge of Mining, George Mireku Duker, assured that the ministry will continue to develop and initiate policies that seek to promote the mining industry.
He, therefore, urged the Ghana Chamber of Mines to continue in its collaborative efforts with the ministry in promoting Ghana as a mining destination of choice in Africa.
Vice President, Dr. Bawumia interacting with the Community Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, of Goldfields Ghana, Mr Abdel-Razak Yakubu, at the opening of WAMPEX 2022