The attention of the Minerals Commission has been drawn to publications on social media that some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have vehemently kicked against the attempt by a mining firm to mine in the Kakum National Park in the Central Region.
According to the CSOs, the move follows an application by the High Street
Limited to the Minerals Commission for a license to mine in the Kakum National Park.
The Commission wishes to inform the CSOs and the public that the application by High Street Limited was rejected and therefore cannot be processed or considered whatsoever.
Consequently, the Commission has deleted the application from the online mining cadastre.
The Commission wishes to assure the public that no mineral right whether for prospecting or mining shall be considered or granted in the Kakum National Park.
Major Boost for Local Banks and Ghanaian-Owned Insurance Companies.
The Minerals Commission has commenced the implementation of the fifth edition of the new procurement list which now has 50 items for the provision of goods and services.
This replaces the fourth edition of the procurement list which was published by the Commission in early 2022.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission Mr. Martin Kwaku Ayisi, the Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020(L.I. 2431) came into force on 22 December 2020. The purpose of the Regulations among others is to promote job creation using local expertise, goods and services in the mining industry and their retention in the country. The law is also to achieve the minimum in-country spend for goods and services and create mining and mineral related industries that will sustain economic development.
Pursuant to Regulation 7 of L.I. 2431, the Commission is required to publish a local procurement list which stipulates the goods and services with Ghanaian content which are to be procured in the country. Regulation 7(3) of L.I. 2431 further states that the Commission shall review the procurement list annually.
For instance, all mining companies are expected to ensure that at least sixty percent (60%) of financial services including revenue from the sale of minerals go to the local Banks. He indicated that the receipts from the sale of minerals is over US$ five (5) billion dollars a figure which is likely to go up significantly as new mines come on stream and the existing ones are expand their operations, the local banks such as CBG, National Investment Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank and Agricultural Development Bank are likely to benefit greatly. The same applies to insurance services which also require a minimum of 60% of all insurance and reinsurance placements be made with Insurance companies exclusively owned by Ghanaians.
Mr. Ayisi, in a statement said the increase in the items on the list comes at the time when receipts from mineral revenues and investments hovers around US$ 10 Billion. For instance, there are four huge new projects with investment of about US$ 1.7 billion. The new projects are the US$ 850 million Ahafo North gold mine project by Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, US$ 500 million gold project currently under construction by Cardinal Namdini Mining limited in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, the US$ 200 million gold mine to be constructed in the Upper West Region and the US$ 125 million lithium project at Ewoyaa in the Central Region.
Additionally, Mr. Ayisi stated that some mines are undertaking expansion and redevelopment. The undergoing expansion include the Ahafo South mine of Newmont which now covers the Subika underground. Golden Star Resources is spending about a billion dollars to expand the Wassa underground mine.
The mines being redevelop are the Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi mine where a billion dollars has been expended and the the Bibiani mine of Mensin Gold Ghana Limited which started production in the last quarter of 2022. The redevelopment of the Bibiani mine is over US$200 million dollars
It is the expectation of the Minerals Commission that these investments will support the growth of the economy and boost local participation under the new procurement list.
Lands Minister Commissions Network Control Infrastructure at Mincom
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor (MP) on Thursday, December 8, 2022 commissioned the Network Control Centre for the tracking and monitoring of Earth Moving Equipment and Explosive Trucks situated at the Minerals Commission as part of a working visit to the Commission,
Among the dignitaries present were, the Hon. Deputy Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio in charge of Lands and Forestry, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Board Chairperson, Board members, Prof. Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Vice Chancellor of George Grant University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and Mr. Godwin Armah, General Secretary of Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners.
In his introductory remarks, the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Martin K. Ayisi welcomed the Lands Minister Hon. Jinapor and the dignitaries and informed the gathering that the contract for the Network Control Centre was competitively awarded to UMaT, which designed and deployed the software for the Network Control Centre in line with the Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2431).
In his address, the Lands Minister Hon. Jinapor applauded the exemplary work done so far by the Commission despite the challenges posed by the activities of illegal miners and pollution of some of the water bodies in the country. He stressed that the overarching objective of the Government in the mining sector is to deal with the menace of illegal mining. According to the Hon. Minister, the inauguration of the Network Control facility for the tracking and monitoring of all earth moving and mining equipment is in line with the Minerals and Mining (Mineral Operations – Tracking of Earth Moving and Mining Equipment) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2404).
He said the Ministry has adopted a dual approach of law enforcement and reformation to tackle the issue of illegal activities in the mining sector. He was excited to commission the Network Control infrastructure and said this is part of a gamut of measures put in place to sanitise the mining industry. Hon. Jinapor expressed confidence in the leadership of the Commission’s Board and Management in the fight against galamsey and the regulation of the sector. He tasked the Commission to ensure a nationwide registration of all excavators, earth moving equipment and mining explosive trucks so that the monitoring will be effective.
On her part, the Board Chairperson, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi commended the Minister for his unflinching support to the Commission and enumerated various initiatives being implemented by the Minerals Commission as regulators of the mining industry. She was hopeful that the inauguration of the Network Control Room for tracking and monitoring of earth moving equipment and explosive trucks will go a long way to enhance the regulatory function of the Commission.
The Lead Consultant for the Network Control Centre, Dr. Sylvester Akpah, a Lecturer at the Computer Science and Engineering Department of UMaT, explained that the piloting of the tracking of earth moving equipment and explosive trucks had been successfully implemented and demonstrated the mechanism for monitoring the operations of the equipment and trucks fitted with unique tracking devices. He mentioned that going forward, all the earth moving equipment and explosive trucks will be fitted with tracking devices, mapped to a particular mining concession and geofenced so that once the equipment leaves a demarcated area it will be automatically shut down and only reactivated by the Control Centre. It is the expectation of the Minerals Commission that when this project is fully implemented it will improve the monitoring and tracking of earth moving equipment and explosive trucks and assist in the efforts of Government in dealing with the adverse environmental impact of illegal small scale mining activities in Ghana.