You are here: HomeBusiness2003 11 28Article 47553

Business News of Friday, 28 November 2003

Source: --

Mining Companies urged to adopt responsible operating principles

Accra, Nov. 28, GNA- The fourth Council Meeting of the Ghana Chamber of Mines ended in Accra on Friday with a call for the adoption of the best mining practice policies and responsible operating principles to promote the conservation and the enhancement of the natural, social and the economic environment.

Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning made the call in a speech read for him by Mr Paul Agyiri, Chief Director of the Ministry which reminded mining industries that natural resources represented a strategic assets for both present and future generation.

"As a result the Chamber and its members should seek to minimize the adverse impact of their operations on the environment and strive towards being more socially conscious and transparent in all its operations," he said.

The Finance Minister urged the Chamber and its members to focus on developing a central sustainable development policy that would be strengthened by its existing management and strategic value systems.

It is only through care and due consideration for the environment that its employees and the affected communities in which it operates would achieve its objective of obtaining the operational licence.

He said government had noted with commendation media report of the alternative livelihood project initiated and funded by mining companies as part of the process to ensure that projects are sustained and the people in the areas are protected.

Mr Osafo Maafo said the initiative included support for small, micro and medium enterprises, re-engineering of mined out areas for tourism and aqua culture and support for income generating activities in the form of training for local people in snail and glasscutter rearing.

He noted a call by the Chamber for an increase in the level of mineral royalties brought back to the host communities from the current 9 per cent to 30 per cent.

In addition the government shared the concern for transparency in the disbursement as well as the need for visible manifestation of the utilization of royalties in mining communities.

In due cause, he said, the government would collaborate with the Ghana Chamber of Mines to ensure that the mineral royalties were channelled into projects that would be beneficial to all inhabitants of mining communities on equitable basis.

"We have to balance the need of government for centrally located project as well as those of the communities", he said.

He called for discussion between stakeholders for a common position.

Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines chaired the meeting attended by operators in the industry and other affiliate bodies.