Ghana’s Goldsmith industry is on the brink of collapse due to the ban on small scale mining.
The sector which used to employ thousands of workers is now employing less than a thousand workers.
According to the Federation of Gold Jewelers Association, they no longer get raw materials for their operation as they depend on small scale miners for about 80% of their gold.
The ban which was imposed early last year as part of the fight against galamsey, is yet to be lifted.
The October 2017 timeline given by government was extended by three months, prompting protest by the Small Scale Miners Association.
The Chairman of the Federation of Gold Jewelers Association, Shallovern Srodah told Starr Business’ Osei Owusu Amankwaah that his members are the most affected.
“We in the jewelry industry, it has affected us most. 80 percent of the gold we use come from this small scare mining. This multilateral companies do not give us the gold. When they get the gold they take it outside.”
He added that most of his members have resorted to other artisanal jobs to survive.
“When you go to the Volta Region and other regions, because they have the gold to work with, most of our workers have tuned into carpenters, fishermen, etc.”
He warned that if nothing is done soonest, the industry will collapse, costing the country millions of Ghana cedis.
They Federation wants government to intervene and ensure big mining companies feed them raw material to sustain their business.
“We on the industry, there was a time that we proposed to government that the Gold that they give to these multilateral company, even if they give 00.5 percent to the jewelry industry we will survive”. The move will be one that will give meaning to government’s agenda of adding value to raw material.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners, Godwin Armah says the ban is also taking a huge toll on other sectors of the economy.
Many of the town hosting small scaling mining activities are dying due to increase in rural urban migration.
The Association made this known at a Third World Network’s roundtable with journalist and stakeholders on the role of artisanal and small scale mining on the Ghanaian economy.
Source:Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/Osei Owusu Amankwaah