Prestea (W/R), Dec 19, GNA - The new Mining and Minerals Bill would soon be passed into Law to enable mining companies take advantage of its enhanced provisions.
This is an assurance signifying government's commitment to the growth of the mining industry in Ghana.
This was contained in an address read on behalf of the Minister of Mines, Mrs Cecilia Bannerman, during the 2004 National Mines Safety Day celebration at Prestea on Saturday, under the theme: "Think, talk and practice safety always."
AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Limited, Bibiani Limited, Ghana Manganese Company and Abosso Goldfields Limited took part in the celebration. Mrs Bannerman said the level of investment in the sector would increase when the new law was promulgated.
She said 79.2 billion cedis in dividends had come to government chest from mining companies in the past few months. Mrs Bannerman said health and safety must be the first concern of mining companies, because when accidents and problems occurred, they affected the entire communities, especially the linkages of chemicals. She said the costs of accident both in public relation management, compensation to affected persons and communities and indeed the cost of losses in the quality of life to these affected could be substantial and must be avoided.
Mrs Bannerman, therefore, urged the mining companies to initiate measures to improve safety performance.
Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of Chamber of Mines, ensuring safety should be a major priority of the mining industry, adding though mining companies should be concerned about meeting their production targets, they should not do so at the expense of the safety of the workers and the people in the mining areas. Nana Kwando Brimpong III, chief of Adum-Banso, who presided on behalf of Osagyefo Kwamina Enimil, VI, the Paramount chief of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area, requested mining companies to improve upon safety measures of employees and to adequately compensate casualties. 19 Nov 04