The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Joyce Aryee has observed that the human race can not exist without mining since it survives virtually on rocks and minerals which are gained from mining activities.
Speaking at the 80th anniversary lectures of the chamber in Accra, she told the gathering that “without mining there would be no agriculture, as the agricultural industry owes much of its successes to rocks and minerals used in making fertilizers and farming equipments.”
Modern medicine, communication industries, paint manufacturing industries, transportation, modern buildings, cosmetics among others are facilitated by rocks and minerals.
Ms Aryee emphasised that the contribution of mining to national development was enormous and could not be limited to benefits that accrued from the operations of the mines alone.
“By its very presence the mining industry has spawned local secondary industries that supply essential inputs to the mining companies' production process. These companies also offer employment and pay taxes to the government.”
She gave the assurance that the industry would continue to dialogue and work towards a mutually beneficial co-existence between the state, mining companies and the host communities.
Prof. Daniel Mireku-Gyimah, Vice Chancellor, University of Mines, who gave a lecture on 'Mining and Social Responsibility: An Exemplary Model for Quality Life', used the operations of Newmont Gold Ghana Limited (NGGL) as an example of how mining companies are affecting communities positively.
He chronicled laid down procedures which if followed by companies would bring peaceful co-existence between them and the communities in which they operate.
He observed that mostly people in the mining communities become conflictual because there was no blue paper on what the communities expect of the companies.
He therefore called on government to develop one.
The Director of the (ASRF) Chris Anderson disclosed that out of the $300 million the company accrued from its activities last year, it spent $160 million on payment of royalties.
He urged the public not to believe everything they hear in the mining communities since there were always two or three sides to every story. By Rocklyn Antonio