Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (middle), Vice-President, interacting with Professors Elvis Asare-Bediako, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, after the dialogue
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (middle), Vice-President, interacting with Professors Elvis Asare-Bediako, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, after the dialogue
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Bawumia outlines proposals to build robust mining sub-sector -It’s to bring reforms in industry

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has outlined some proposals to build a robust small-scale mining sub-sector by bringing major reforms in the mining industry.

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He said his overall objective was to make the country a leading player in gold in Africa across several value chains.

“Our overall goal is to build a robust small-scale mining sector to become a leading player in Africa across several value chains, while exporting high value added downstream products,” he said.

Dr Bawumia was speaking at the third annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani last Wednesday on the theme: “Charting our country’s mining vision and the future of illegal mining”.

He expressed the need to harness the existing potentials to reap the full benefits of building a resilient small-scale mining sector that would be admired not only in the sub-region but globally.

Resource

He expressed the need to adequately resource the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) and universities to control the country's mineral resources in order to get the full benefits of mining.

Dr Bawumia mentioned the UENR, University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and other public universities would be empowered to help in the exploration of the country's natural resources.

"That is very key. Once that happens, Ghanaians will own 100 per cent of these resources,” Dr Bawumia said, adding that his future government would build a Mineral Development Bank to support the mining industry.

He said the establishment of the local bank would also help minimise foreign financing of local mining projects, a situation which led to smuggling of resources.

Gold buying centres

The Vice-President said if he got the chance to become President, he would adequately resource Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) to establish more gold buying centres to mop all the gold and resource small-scale miners, and also establish an equipment pool to support small-scale mining activities to improve their production.

Dr Bawumia said the government would organise periodic training for the miners to beef up their knowledge and skills.

He said under his presidency, he would introduce a mining curriculum in all schools to facilitate the studies of basic mining in order to promote responsible mining and reclamation.

Gold belt

Dr Bawumia said according to the GGSA, there were seven Gold belts in the country, explaining that about 50 per cent of the Gold had not been explored.

He said what was yet to be explored was about 23,000 square kilometers.

Dr Bawumia said the department estimated that in what was yet to be explored contained about five billion ores of gold, and that "This means in today's prices, it's about $10 trillion.”

Harmful mining

Dr Bawumia said the world's natural resources continued to come under severe stress due to the effects of unregulated and harmful mining practices, and that “Ghana hasn't been spared ".

He said the government could not pretend that the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as "galamsey", had been won.

Dr Bawumia said he was committed to the fight against galamsey in order to keep the environment and river bodies safe.

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