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31.05.2008 General News

Let’s develop clay, marble and granite industries-Aryee.

By GNA
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Miss Joyce R. Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines has suggested that the clay, marble and granite Industry, which had been ignored over the years, should engage the attention of policy makers without any further delay.
She said these three natural resources, which are in abundance in all parts of the country, could be exploited and developed to contribute towards the economic development of the respective communities and the country as a whole.
Ms. Aryee was speaking at the 80th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines at Tarkwa on Friday.
The AGM also forms part of the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Chamber and was on the theme “Life without mining is impossible”.
She said the country could derive a lot of benefits from the unexplored areas because many communities have it and could directly impact on the economy of the country, if it was properly harnessed.
Ms. Aryee said it was sad that value was not given to clay, granite and marble, saying that, they are vital resources in all infrastructural development of the country.
She said people living in communities with such huge deposits could be assisted to make it a bid foreign exchange earner for the country and that the Chamber was ready to support in that direction.
Ms. Aryee called for a policy that would bring the clay, granite and marble industries into the main mining industry.
She said the sector could become a leading supporter of the economy within the next five years if the requisite preparations and policies were made now.
Mr Jurgen Eijgendaal, President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines in his address said, the mining companies were undergoing major challenges in their operations.
He said frequent power outages; rising cost of fuel, spare parts among others poses a serious challenge for the companies.
Mr Eijgendaal said to address some of the challenges, a consortium of four mining companies have acquired an 80 megawatts thermal power plant at a cost of 50 million United States (US) Dollars to meet any shortfall in the energy sector.
He said the activities of illegal miners on mining concessions coupled with the stealing of cables and other valuables from the mining companies continue to be a major threat to many of them.
Mr Eijgendaal said a 20,000 US dollars chair for Geo-Environmental Studies has been instituted at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT).
He explained that the focus of the chair would be compensation, resettlement, land, environment, cyanide and arsenic related issues, alternative livelihood and post mining economies.

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