Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has charged mining companies in the country to take calculated and purposive steps towards creating lasting impacts on communities in their catchment areas.
According to him, the development of communities in mining areas should feature prominently in the plans of mining companies. This, he emphasized, provides the surest way to a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship between the companies and the country.
Speaking during a working visit to the Ghana Manganese Company (GMC), Mr Mireku Duker advocated deliberate move by the companies to create a community-developmental plan.
He revealed that the companies should engage the various stakeholders involved in their developmental plans as that will enable them to appreciate the needs of the communities they intend to help.
The Tarkwa-Nsuaem MP equally mentioned areas such road network, education, health and water and others as avenues for implementation of Corporate Social Responsibilities.
Furthermore, Mr Duker charged the companies to be accountable to the communities by explaining to them its operations and the status of exploitations.
“Every mining company shows us evidence of CSRs they’ve done. You have to design your plan with the chiefs. You have to listen to their needs and say this is what we can afford so that by the beginning of the year, you’ll have your plan attached to your operational expectations.”George Mireku Duker
Speaking to the specific case of GMC, Mr Duker urged the management to be deliberate about publicizing their CSRs projects so as to make the residents of the communities aware of their positive impact.
He further encouraged the company to set up a fund purposely for undertaking Corporate Social Responsibilities.
Moreover, Mr Duker enumerated a number of the specific challenges such as the lack of roads and public toilet facilities and appealed to the company to step in quickly and help them.
The General Manager of Ghana Manganese Company, Mr. Joseph Ampong, on his part, disclosed that the company’s CSR’s capabilities have been hindered by its inactivity which was triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war.
Nonetheless, he stated that GMC has made efforts towards assisting companies by funding the education of some needy but brilliant students, rehabilitating poor roads, among others.
Photon Assay Lab launched
Meanwhile, the deputy lands minister has espoused the crucial role of technology and innovation as elements of utmost significance in the process of creating positive, progressive and sustainable developments in Ghana’s mining industry.
Delivering a speech at the commissioning of the Intertek Minerals Photonassay Laboratory in Tarkwa, Mr Duker noted that the fourth industrial era is anchored and typified by technological innovations and that any country that does not act swiftly to embrace these innovations will be left behind.
He remarked that fortunately for Ghana’s leadership particularly, the current government has demonstrated its unrelenting efforts and commitment to ensuring that the country’s mining space is driven by the best of technological inventions.
“Ghana’s abundant mineral resource endowment that anchors its development continues to be explored and exploited by some 500 exploration projects and about 23 large-scale mining operations, respectively.
“These are ably supported by some two hundred and 235 companies offering engineering and mine support services such as drilling, contract mining, and assaying services, among others, with Intertek Minerals being one of such giant players in the sector and the reason we are gathered here today.”George Mireku Duker
Furthermore, Mr Duker specified some of the impactful benefits a technologically driven mining sector will have on Ghana’s economy.
Narrowing it down to the Intertek PhotoAssay Laboratory Services, the Deputy Minister outlined that proper assaying laboratory is crucial for the sector and the country because it helps ensure accurate valuation of the minerals.
He also mentioned some specific features of the PhotoAssay technology that he is certain will deal with every challenge that comes with assaying gold.
“A functional mining industry, therefore, requires an equally functional Assay Laboratory Service at all stages of the mineral value chain, from resource estimation, ore optimization studies to mine site rehabilitation after closure…”George Mireku Duker