Mining Companies Urged To Do More
6/8/2012 3:05:12 PM -
Mike Allen Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has called on operators in the mining sector to ensure sustainable development to improve the lives of the people in the communities where they operate.
Speaking at the opening of this year's West Africa Mining and Power Exhibition and Conference (WAMPEX/WAMPOC) themed, 'Deepening Partnerships for the Sustainable Development of Africa's Energy and Mineral Resources,' he said it was important for players in the mining industry to build linkages for the development of society.
'I believe that mining companies can do more in the area of sustainable development when they deepen partnership not only with government but also stakeholders such as the community, civil society groups and NGO's, and the academia'
Deepening stakeholder partnerships, the minister noted, was fundamental to advancing the development of the industry, confronting local and global challenges such as illegal mining and economic recession and accelerating progress towards internationally agreed goals such as the Millennium Development Goals.
He said it was through strong partnership among stakeholders that the industry could realize the achievement of the six priority areas emphasized by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).
The priority areas include poverty reduction, revenue management, regional development planning, local content, social investment and dispute resolution.
'Partnerships can help fill capacity and governance gaps where necessary and broaden the overall socio-economic contribution from mining and metals investments,' he said, adding that such partnerships could drive progress on issues that companies acting alone may not have the capacity to address.
He stated that in Ghana the mining sector is highest gross foreign exchange earner and currently contributes 49 per cent of total merchandise exports and 7 per cent of GDP.
The sector also employs 28,000 people in the large scale and mine support services industry while over 1,000,000 people are engaged in the small scale gold, diamonds, sand winning and quarry industries.
Nana Antwi Darkwah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Events and Projects International (EPI), organizers of the WAMPEX/WAMPOC, said the three-day conference which opened on Wednesday, June 6 and expected to end today, June 8, 2012, was to provide a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences on the challenges and future prospects of Africa's mining and energy sector.
Over 100 mining and power companies from Ghana and other countries are attending the conference while others have mounted stands at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Dan Owiredu, President of the Chamber of Mines and Vice President for Africa Operations of Golden Star Resources, urged the participants to engage each other.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey