General News of Thursday, 31 May 2018
The Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines has described as “obvious fact” lamentations by Ghana’s president that mining communities have been left in squalor despite huge revenues these communities churn out.
To address that depressing fact, Sulemanu Koney is calling for a better collaboration between government and mining companies.
“We have never had a plan to back the development of mining communities,” he stated, adding, if such a policy had been available and fully operationalized, the situation would have been different.
Mr Koney was reacting to Nana Akufo-Addo’s comments at the 2018 West Africa Mining and Power conference and exhibition programme.
“Why is Obuasi not the most beautiful city in Ghana or the world, if it hosts the richest gold mine; why do Tarkwa and Prestea not look like the golden towns they are, and why does Akwatia’s appearance not reflect anything about the diamonds that have been taken from its soils all these years? The distressed state of communities in which mining companies operate is nothing short of a disgrace, and we must work to change the situation,” the president said.
In conformity with the Minerals Development Fund (2016) Act 912, the president said his government will work to ensure that the Act is fully operational to provide financial resources to transform mining communities.
Agreeing in part with the president, the Chamber of Mines head said there has to be better collaboration between mining companies and the government to ensure better development of mining communities.
“We have never had any legislation which will back mining community development. The first time we had legislation was in 2016,” he said
He added when the law is fully operationalized the country will see development in local mining communities. He also dismissed assertions that mining companies deliberately breach the local content law which should empower local communities and provide jobs to them.