The Ghana Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance and strengthen technical cooperation in the fields of standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment.
The MoU also aims to improve the exchange of information and expertise between the two organisations in order to promote standards in the mining industry, public and industrial welfare, health and safety.
Mr Sulemanu Koney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and Professor Alex Dodoo, Acting Director-General Ghana Standards Authority, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions.
Commenting on the agreement, Professor Dodoo said the GSA is of the view that a well-controlled and regularised and standardised mining sector could actually lead to increase productivity and job creation.
'So this MoU is to cement the relationship and to announce to the country that GSA and Ghana Chamber of Mines are putting extremely high premium on the mining sector. We want the mining sector to yield revenue much more than it is doing and to be a sector which creates jobs and a sector which is world class,' he said.
Prof Dodoo said the GSA stood ready to facilitate the work of the Chamber of Mines by providing the industry with the necessary standards in line with best global practices.
'The mining sector is big business. We know that business thrives in an atmosphere of trust. And the whole point of standardisation is to build trust. If you are buying precious minerals, especially gold you want to ensure that you get your monies worth,' he said.
To the international community this is going to serve notice that Ghana is opened for higher level of business in the gold industry. We are happy to say that we've already started the process of beginning to hallmark precious minerals so as you buy them you know that these have been certified by GSA and that adds huge value,' Pro. Dodoo added.
On his part, Mr Koney said the Chamber of Mines was committed to creating value for the country and one of the areas to do this was to work with other partners to deepen the integration of the mining industry into the wider economy.
He said the more value the country was able to retain would depend on the linkage between the mining industry and the rest of the economy, adding that the many opportunities within the mining value chain could be harnessed only if the requisite standards are in place.
'To promote local content naturally we want to ensure that the standards of the inputs which go into the mining industry are first class because we are talking about first class industry. And we can think of no better ally than the Ghana Standards Authority because they are tasked by law to ensure standards of various activities within the country,' Mr Koney said.
'So we are quite happy to collaborate with the GSA to ensure that the whole agenda of local content and the need for us to deepen the integration of the mining industry into the rest of the economy is not seen as a fluke because we have milestones to guide us and we believe that with the effort we will be able to improve manufacturing,' he added.
Mr Koney said the mining industry should be able to engender growth within other sectors of the economy, especially manufacturing but this could only be done if there are the requisite standards to feed into a world-class industry like the mining industry.
Mr Koney expressed the hope that the journey would be mutually beneficial not just for Ghana Standards Authority or the Chamber of Mines but the whole economy, adding that the basic steps initiated would provide the fillip for our industries to actually veer into other economic opportunities within the wider sub-region.
'We believe that we are taking the very vital and important steps for us to actually grow our economy but not only the extractives, particularly mining but just to make sure that we are able to pull manufacturing and other sectors that have anything to do with mining along,' he said.