The Canadian High Commissioner, Ms Kati Csaba, has asked the three Canadian mining companies operating in Ghana to strictly adhere to local laws that require them to mine sustainably and responsibly.
The three Canadian mining companies in Ghana — Asanko Gold Mines, Chirano Gold Mine Limited and Golden Star Resources — are said to have jointly invested $850 million in Ghana’s mining sector in 2019 alone.
However, Ms Csaba said those investments would only make the desired impact in local communities and be mutually beneficial to both countries, if the mining entities played strictly to the rules of engagement.
"The government of Canada has quite strict rules in place that governs Canadian mining companies in their activities abroad. We have very high expectations for the Canadian companies in Ghana because we expect them to respect the labour laws, human rights and environmental concerns in Ghana, even as they employ the local people and support local communities in many areas," she said.
Ms Csaba stated this when she paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, in Accra.
Top on the discussion table at the meeting was the need for Canada and Ghana to deepen trade relations and collaboration in the mining sector.
This, the parties noted, would help to leverage the mineral resources for the mutual benefit of both countries.
Given the experiences of both countries in the mining sector, the two sides also discussed how to share those experiences.
Ms Csaba said the Canadian government remained committed to providing development assistance to Ghana in the agriculture and mining sectors, in particular, and to also support the COVID-19 economic recovery programme.
She noted that for Ghana to fully benefit from the mineral wealth of the country, there was the need for conscious efforts to diversify the mining sector and prioritise deliberate investment in the value chain.
The Canadian High Commissioner also underscored the need for value addition in the mining sector as the way forward to leverage the potential of the industry.
Mr Jinapor said the government was focused on transforming Ghana into a mining hub.
In doing so, he said, the government would continue to tap into the expertise of Canada in the mining industry.
While commending the Canadian mining companies for investing in Ghana, Mr Jinapor said it was important for them to be conscious of the environment in their activities.
He also called on the various mining companies and other stakeholders to take note of the Green Ghana agenda and align their activities to promote that project.