The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker says government is committed to leveraging mining technologies for a sustainable and profitable small-scale gold mining sector.
While speaking at the 7th University of Mines and Technology’s International Mining and Mineral Conference at Tarkwa, George Mireku Duker acknowledged that the small-scale mining sector has come to stay and government is determined to take steps to guarantee a formalized sector.
“The Mining Industry has grown significantly as a key backbone of Ghana’s economy. Between 2013 and 2020, the industry saw an average growth of 20% per annum. As of 2020, the mining industry of Ghana accounted for 7.5% share of the country’s GDP, accounted for 18.1% of all direct tax payments to government, remaining the single largest tax-paying sector to the state. Currently, the government is committed to leverage on technological advancements to regularize the mining sector.”
“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources since the inception of this government has undertaken a lot of activities and deployment of some mining technologies in order to fight against illegal mining, ensure responsible and sustainable mining and create value along the entire mining industry. These include the commissioning of 100 Mercury-Free Gold Processing Equipment to support gold ore processing to mitigate the use of mercury in fulfilment of Ghana’s commitment to the Minamata convention as well as procuring and commissioning of five-speed boats to be placed on some major river bodies (Pra, Birim, Ankobra, Offin, Black Volta etc) to fight illegal mining on the river bodies“, he said.
Speaking on the theme for the mining conference dubbed “Innovation in Mining and Mineral Processing; Expanding the Frontiers of Mining Technologies,” George Mireku Duker commended UMaT for its research and innovation in mining methods improvement.
“The world is constantly evolving technologically, and it’s imperative for us to adapt to the changes and make use of the advantages thereon. As the finest Mining University in the West African sub-region, the human resource supply by UMaT towards Ghana’s Mining Industry cannot be underestimated. Several research pieces from the university, by its lecturers and students alike, have led to the growth in terms of productivity and the discovery of innovations in the sector. The African mining industry can boast of seasoned professionals who are manning the affairs in both operational and policy handles.”
“Landmark researches from UMaT, such as Prof. Amankwah’s research findings on ASM on Mercury
pollution abatement in Small-scale gold operations, Sika Buchia technology; and Prof. Mireku-Gyimah’s works on Mineral Royalty payment, and Corporate Social Responsibility structure among other equally important researches have contributed immensely towards the development of the mining sector”, he added.
Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Richard Kwasi Amankwa on his part, noted how beneficial the UMaT International Mining and Minerals Conference has been to the local mining sector.
“It has been a great work indeed. Such conferences bring big minds and big brains together to share ideas and find ways of solving local problems and also adding new knowledge in various fields. For this conference, 68 abstracts were received 84 papers would be presented. Looking at the titles displayed, I have a firm hope that many issues are on the menu and some have the potential to solve some of our local problems and also expand the frontiers of mining technology. A new addition to this conference is the pre-conference short course for small-scale miners”, he added.
Some small-scale miners who had completed the best small-scale mining training prior to the conference receive their certificates at the opening of the conference.