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General News of Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Source: GNA

Lecture on Mining opens

Accra, Nov. 19, GNA - Professor Daniel Mireku-Gyimah, Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology has presented a comprehensive blueprint that could help restore confidence between mining companies and the communities in which they operate. In a lecture to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Ghana Chamber of Mines in Accra, Professor Mireku-Gyimah said mining companies must as first step in building confidence in communities, adopt coherent social responsibility programmes, which were mutually beneficial to both the companies and communities in the catchments areas. His topic was; "Mining and Social Responsibility: An Exemplary Model for Quality Life."

In a four-prong approach to enhancing community participation, Prof. Mireku-Gyimah called for extensive consensus building through dialogue with community members over issues of mutual interest. He said the communities and the companies must package their decisions into an agreement, spelling out their objectives, obligations, implementation and monitoring plans to be signed to signify commitment. Built into this agreement, there must be ways to agree on maintaining trust, sustain good working relations and resolve challenges. He said, to build trust, it was important that social responsibility organisations were formed with membership drawn from diverse sectors and whose members should consist of opinion leaders of all facets of the mining environment to ensure that no group felt relegated to want to resort to violence. Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines said contribution of mining to national development should not be limited to benefits that accrued from the operation of mines only, adding that, the industry also contributed to infrastructure development of its communities.

She however, added that, in this era where much was expected of the industry in terms of revenue, the development of the mining communities could not be the sole responsibility of the mining industries. The 80th anniversary was on the theme: "Life without mining is impossible."

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