Business News of Wednesday, 20 December 2017
The National Executive Council of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) of TUCG having met in Accra from December 13 – 14, 2017;
Realizing with regret Gold Fields Ghana Limited’s ruthless decision to implement a contract mining option which would impact on the jobs of over 1,700 workers with serious economic and social consequences;
Recognizing that Gold Fields Ghana Limited has misled the Government, the Union, the market and the people of Ghana by way of misrepresentation of critical Company information and that their actions constitute serious ethical breaches;
Noting that Gold Fields Ghana Limited’s Life of Mine is 15 years according to its official website (https://www.goldfieds.com) and corroborated by its Mineral Resource/Reserve Report as at December 2016 contrary to its recent claims of a Life of Mine of 5 – 6 years;
Concerned about the lapses in the role of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and its agencies in supervising the activities of Gold Fields Limited and by extension the other mining companies in the industry;
Observing that there is selective application of the Stability Agreement in the Law to favour few of the large scale mining companies to the detriment of the other medium to large scale companies in the industry;
Disappointed that Ghana has failed over the years to ratify ILO Convention 176 (Safety in the Mines Convention) to elevate our occupational safety and health standards in the mines to international standards;
Worried that corruption continues to wreak serious havoc on the country in every facet of its development;
Alarmed that the unemployment situation which is sky-rocketing each passing day posses a great danger to the future of our country;
Do hereby resolve that:
Government and the industry stakeholders must as a matter of urgency take immediate actions to halt the implementation of Gold Fields Ghana Limited’s contract mining decision/strategy because there is no logical business case to warrant such a model at this time, considering the potential socioeconomic consequences on workers and their families, the Tarkwa community and the nation as a whole.
Government and its regulatory agencies must as a matter of priority, subject Gold Fields Ghana Limited’s assertions and factual inaccuracies to critical scrutiny and where falsehood is established, the necessary sanctions and penalties duly applied to serve as a deterrent to multinationals who operate in the industry.
There is a creeping phenomenon of unconventional methods of mining that support short term profiteering motives of multinationals in the mining industry but with long term ramifications on the Life of Mine and future of the stakeholders particularly workers, host communities and the nation as a whole.
Government and its regulatory agencies must ensure that the various business models and operational strategies of ALL mining companies in the sector are subjected to critical scrutiny to ensure they conform strictly to sustainable mining practices/principles before permission is granted before mining.
Government and its regulatory agencies together with the industry’s stakeholders must re-examine the implementation of the Stability Agreement with the view to eliminating the ‘non-compete clause’, which has given an unfair competitive advantage to a few large scale companies at the expense of others. We believe that an equal playing field is the way to go.
Government should prioritize the ratification of ILO Convention 176 (Safety in the Mines Convention) by triggering the processes of the ratification without any further delay.
Government must deal decisively with corruption by eliminating the seeming collusion and the lackluster attitude of the state actors with the authority to punish the perpetrators of this economic pandemic that is siphoning so much scarce resources from the national kitty and stampeding the country’s development.
To this end, we commend the Government for the passage of the Special Prosecutor’s Bill and urge it to speed up its operationalization We commend Government on its initiatives so far aimed at addressing the glaring unemployment situation in our country.
We however urge it to accelerate the pace of its activities in order to create opportunities for the teeming unemployed masses particularly the youth in our country because of the untold hardship it has brought to many of our youth who desperately just want to do anything to survive with dire consequences.