The Board Chairman of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Samson Boafo, has said the Commission will in the coming months explore avenues to seek funding for investment in geological investigations and generate detailed information in designated areas for demarcation to small-scale miners.
“We will in the coming months explore avenues to seek funding to invest in geological investigations and generate detailed information in designated areas for demarcation to small-scale miners.
“We will also develop a close collaboration with the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners to meet their regulatory requirements, as well as assist them to develop their operations into medium and eventually large-scale Ghanaian-owned mines.”
Mr. Boafo, has said the Minerals Commission will adopt a three-prong approach to achieve its strategic vision of making the mining sector attractive for investment and job-creation.
“The Vision of the current Board of the Minerals Commission for the mining sector has three key objectives, and we are poised to deliver on this during our tenure. I have further shared the Vision with management of the Commission, and they are expected to cascade this down to their teams so that together we will all work to achieve the Vision.
“Upon inauguration of the Minerals Commission Board, we made a resolve to take the mining sector to a level that will be attractive for investment and safe for the entire mining community,” he said.
Mr. Boafo, speaking at a media briefing in Accra on the Commission’s vision, said the first goal will be to provide the necessary investment environment for Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians to invest in the sector and spur economic growth.
“The minerals and mining sector abounds with lots of investment potential, and we are going to provide the necessary investment environment for Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians to invest in the sector and grow the economy.”
He said to achieve this objective, the Minerals Commission will pursue measures including timely processing of all mineral rights applications and permits.
“In view of this, we will introduce an online application and processing system to reduce delays in the mineral rights application processes,” he said.
“We will also identify and develop new mineral potentials with a serious view to diversifying the minerals and mining sector through aggressive marketing and investment promotion.”
Mr. Boafo said the Commission will also facilitate the training of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to provide goods and services for the mining sector.
He said the Board’s Vision is to ensure that the sector becomes one of the key employment-creating sector of the economy, and the Board plans to do this through aggressive growth of businesses in the sector.
Again, the Commission will be expanding its frontiers to map-out deposits of industrial minerals across the country.
This will be packaged as part of the Commission’s investment drive for prospective investors in the construction industry, thereby creating employment for a lot more people in the mining sector.
To ensure that more mining companies come onstream for people to gain employment in the sector, the Board will engage exploration companies in the country and see how best to assist them invest more in defining resources and reserves for mining.
Value addition will be pursued in close collaboration with jewellers, goldsmiths and small-scale miners to create additional employment for Ghanaians.
Mr. Boafo said to improve safety, enhance sustainability and reduce the environmental impacts from the onset, the Commission will work with key agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Water Resources Commission to ensure compliance with Health, Safety and Environmental standards.
“Destruction of the environment, deforestation and pollution of water-bodies will not be entertained,” he said.
In this direction, the Commission will re-organise Monitoring and Inspection Activities with the creation of new regional and district offices, and about 14 satellite offices to ensure effective monitoring and inspection of operations.
The enforcement functions of the Commission will also be strengthened to effectively regulate cyanide and explosives transportation, handling and storage.
He said the Commission also has plans to introduce new training and certification programmes to improve health and safety in the mines as well, to ensure a reduction in anticipated accidents at mine sites.
He appealed for media to support the Commission in educating, especially, illegal miners to mainstream their activities and also publicise positive ‘stories of change’ in mining communities.