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18.06.2012 Business & Finance

High Commissioner visit highlights Australia's contribution to mining in Ghana

By Mr Walter Kudzodzi
HE William (Billy) WilliamsHE William (Billy) Williams
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Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, HE William (Billy) Williams is on a five-day tour of Australia's significant mining interests in the Ashanti, Western and Central regions.

The tour will include Konongo, Bibiani, Chirano, Anwia-Nkwanta, Obuasi and Ayanfuri, where High Commissioner Williams will visit operations of Owere Mines Ltd, Noble Gold Bibiani Ltd, Geodrill Ghana Ltd, AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi mine, and Perseus Mining Ltd. The visit will highlight Australian mining companies' economic contribution and partnerships with local communities.

High Commissioner Williams will also call on District and Municipal Chief Executives and Traditional leaders to discuss issues of mutual interest affecting the respective communities within the catchment area of the mines.

“There are around 15 Australian mining and related services companies in Ghana, which have invested several hundred million dollars in extraction, exploration and associated activities,” High Commissioner Williams said.

“The opening of four Australian operated mines in Ghana over the past 18 months is a strong statement of support for Ghana's economic growth.

“These investments generate extensive employment and a significant 'multiplier effect' for local communities. This is making a clear contribution to Ghana's long-term economic and community development.”

Ghana's Chamber of Mines recently noted that gold output had risen on the back of production from Australian gold companies Endeavour Mining (formerly Adamus Resources) in the Western region in 2011 and Owere, Perseus and Noble Gold in 2012. Other Australian Mining companies in Ghana include Azumah Resources Ltd, Castle Minerals Ltd, Shaw River Manganese Limited, African Mining Services (AMS) and Lycopodium.

Australian resources companies have current and projected investment across Africa of around AUD50 billion (GHS 90 billion). In Ghana, Australia's aid program complements the strong contribution of Australian mining and related services companies.

Ghana is a focus country for Australia's new AUD127-million (GHS230 million) International Mining for Development Initiative, which aims to build mining governance capacity in developing countries. This has led to the establishment of an International Mining for Development Centre in Australia to share resource governance and building technical capacity experiences. It will also provide support to Ghana, and other West African nations, on transparency and regulation in the mining sector.

Since 2010, Ghana has received around 20 short- and long-term Australia Awards Scholarships in mining and natural resources management, covering issues such as mining governance, environmental issues and workplace safety. Ghana will continue to be eligible for the Australia Awards program, which will offer 1,000 awards across Africa by 2013.

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