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‘Low rate of development in mining communities poses concern

  • SOURCE: | qwesa2big
  • miningLow rate of development in some mining areas has become a source of serious worry, Mr. Kwarko Mensah Gyakari, Chairman of the Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMWU), has expressed.

    He said some multi-national mining firms have failed to give the required attention to address the developmental issues of their host communities.

    Mr. Gyakari said the core mandate of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies is to ensure that the royalties and the Mineral Development Fund paid by the mining firms are used to improve mining towns.

    Speaking at the Union’s 11th Quadrennial national delegate’s conference in Tarkwa, under the theme ‘Rethinking the Remuneration Landscape in the Mining Industry: Critical Perspectives for Change’, Mr. Gyakari said the Tarkwa Nsueam Constituency –which is the hub of all mining activities — only has bad roads filled with potholes.

    He explained that it’s time for GMWU members to hold their leaders accountable and ensure that any money they receive from the mining industry is utilised properly.

    Mr. Gyakari urged the assemblies to introduce policies that will speed up development in every mining community.

    Mr. Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said GMWU is uniquely positioned to lead the process of creating more local entrepreneurs in the mining industry.

    He said the recent call on the union to offer financial services should be an impetus to provide mining finance in the long-term.

    He urged the GMWU to consider this proposition in its plans as they continue to sensitise other actors on their roles for the transformation of the small-scale mining segment of the sector.

    Mr. Koney called on the GMWU to reposition itself to help find solutions in the industry, adding that the chamber will be a creditable partner as they collaborate to transform the mining sector.

    Mr. Alfred Baku, the Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa, Gold Fields Ghana, said the gold mining industry has been terribly hit by an unprecedented decline in the world price of gold.

    He said from as high as US$1,900 an ounce in 2011 to the current price of less than US$1,200 indicates that gold mining companies are in a dire state.

    Mr. Baku said in order to survive these challenges Gold Fields Ghana has decided to employ some proactive measures; such as operational excellence models, contract re-negotiation, integrated procurement strategies, labour rationalisation and other cost-management measures to keep the business alive.

    In spite of the foregoing challenges, he said, in 2014 they contributed more than GH¢411million to the Ghanaian economy in the areas of taxes, royalties, Customs duties, land rents and rates.

    Mr. Baku said the Gold Fields foundation invested more than GH¢75million for community development projects in education, water and sanitation, agriculture agribusiness and infrastructure


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