Sunday, August 16, 2015
Veep tells mining firms to be responsible

Veep tells mining firms to be responsible

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has charged mining companies to be responsible towards the environment in their operations. He said it is for this reason that the government last year developed the new Minerals and Mining Policy, which seeks to establish a comprehensive framework for mining to be a catalyst for sustainable development.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said this when he inaugurated a new office complex for the Minerals Commission in Accra.

The Minerals Commission is a body established with a focused function of fostering the efficient and effective regulation and management of the utilisation of the mineral resources of Ghana and the coordination and implementation of policies related to them.

The new office is, therefore, in line with the government’s vision to make the Commission a one-stop-shop to ensure effective and efficient regulation of the mining sector.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur acknowledged the contribution of mining to the economy and challenged the players in the sector to be mindful of the impact of their activities on the environment. He advised state institutions to judiciously use their internally generated funds to ease the pressure on government funds.

The Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn said the commission is in a position to fully implement the upcoming Minerals and Mining Policy approved by Cabinet. He said small- scale mining contributes significantly to the economy. In 2014 for instance, total gold produced by small scale miners was about 1.49 million ounces, representing 35% of total gold produced in Ghana.

Dr Aubynn said a number of policy proposals are before Parliament, including the amendment of aspects of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703. He said when these are approved by Parliament, they will among others criminalise participation of foreigners in the small scale mining, penalise Ghanaians who engage foreigners in small scale mining and ensure strict liability for the offences committed under Act 703.
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