The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has commended the Ghana Chamber of Mines for making contributions to the national economy in 2015 through local procurement.
According to him, “The mining industry achieved about 73 percent of its planned local purchases per the local content regulations,” adding that the “mining sector, in 2015, contributed about 14.4 percent of government revenue and 34 percent in terms of total merchandise exports and produced about 3.6 million ounces of gold, which resulted in export revenue of about US$3.3 billion.”
He revealed this on Thursday in Accra in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the Ghana Mining & Energy Summit themed: “Sustaining business growth through innovation in challenging Energy and Mining environment.”
He said mining companies repatriated about 72 percent of foreign exchange into the economy.
Mr. Amewu observed that the local content regulations of the mining sector required mining companies to source some items from local vendors, adding that if all players would adhere to the regulations, the industry could achieve 100 percent of its planned local purchases in future.
Investment in the Mining Sector
According to Mr. Amewu, the mining sector faced difficulties in 2016, notable among them were the unstable commodity prices and the energy crisis which ebbed in 2016.
This led to the underperformance and downsizing of operations of mining companies in the country.
The recent passage of the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) Act by Parliament is expected to provide the financial resources to transform the mining communities.
Touching on small-scale mining, he observed: “The small-scale mining sector has the potential to contribute to livelihood empowerment and poverty alleviation of our local people”.
However, he said there had been a clear deviation in recent times where the water bodies and environment have been destroyed through the activities of illegal mining.
“We believe that the sector needs to be restructured and regularized to benefit the local people and the entire nation.”
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Kwame Addo Kufuor, lauded the minister for the campaign against illegal mining and reform the sector as well.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, said through the production and procurement of local inputs, the mining industry could catalyze growth and development of local manufacturing in the country and try to attract investment both in the exploration and mining.
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