The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, has said that the central bank, together with the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry, has introduced rigorous measures to curb environmentally destructive artisanal small-scale gold mining and its sale.
Dr. Addison made the announcement at the opening of the 4th Ghana Mining Expo in Takoradi, which is on the theme “Sustainable Mineral Resources Development and Well-Being of Mining Communities.”
He commended the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry and the organizers of the expo for their efforts to promote responsible and sustainable mining.
He also urged the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) to ensure that its purchases are guided by the measures to prevent unapproved mining practices and operation of unlicensed miners.
“The Bank of Ghana has put into place a rigorous due diligence process for aggregators, including checking for criminal records and site visitation to ensure that registered mines are complying with the relevant environmental standards,” Dr. Addison said. “It is our expectation that purchases by the PMMC will also be guided by a similar rigorous process.”
He added that the Bank of Ghana will work closely with the PMMC to adopt and integrate its Responsible Sourcing and Due Diligence Framework in their operations. The Bank will also work with key stakeholders and the mining regulator to improve the standards of community mines to be an important gold supplier. Finally, the Bank will lend support to the current efforts towards LBMA certifications for local refineries.
Dr. Addison also re-emphasized the benefits of the Gold for Gold Programme to the Ghanaian economy.
“Since its inception, the Gold for Oil has yielded significant results,” he said. “Specifically, it has provided foreign exchange resources to meet petroleum products importation, led to increased competition among market players and lower ex-pump petroleum prices, and provided some stability in the FX markets. These positive developments have contributed to easing price pressures and thereby supporting the central bank’s efforts to bring down the high inflation levels.”
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, who officially launched the expo, said that it has become a critical platform for strategic discussion for the growth of the extractive sector.
“It is fast establishing itself as one of the most important mining conferences in the West African Region, providing a multi-sectoral platform for the exchange of ideas on investment opportunities and challenges in the African mining sector, with the aim of implementing strategies for accelerated growth in mining, while ensuring resilience on all fronts, and at all times, as Africa’s economic bedrock,” he said.
The minister said that the theme of this year’s expo, “Sustainable Mineral Resources Development and Well-Being of Mining Communities,” is particularly important, as it highlights the need for responsible and sustainable mining practices.
“The mining sector has the potential to contribute significantly to Ghana’s economic development,” he said. “However, this can only be achieved if we ensure that mining is done in a sustainable manner that does not harm the environment or the communities in which it takes place.”
The minister outlined a number of government initiatives to promote sustainable mining, including the establishment of a Gold Refinery and the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC). He also said that the government is working to secure a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Certification for the Ghana Gold Refinery.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, said that the recovery of the Ghanaian economy is highly dependent on the mining sector. He called for a doubling of production in the mining sector, saying that this is the only way to create wealth and reduce poverty.
The 2023 Ghana Mining Expo will come to a close on Saturday, July 15th. Several mining sector players are expected to speak and exhibit at the expo.