Survey Authority commences profiling of minerals in Ghana

Accra The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) has said it is conducting comprehensive investigations at the regions with mineral deposits to be blocked for responsible mining.

The move, is part of the Community Mining Scheme and the Multi-Sectorial Mining Integrated Project aimed at collaborating with other stakeholders from the medium to the long term to sanitize the mining sector.

Dr Daniel Boamah, the Director-General of GGSA disclosed this when a four-member delegation from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (MMMD) of Zambia paid a working visit to the company to understand its operations and learn from best practices.

The visit to the agencies in the mineral value chain was led by Mr Barnaby B. Mulenga, the Permanent Secretary at the MMMD and facilitated by Friends of the Nation in collaboration with Oxfam.

They were accompanied by Mrs Phyllis Chuma-Chilembe, Acting High Commissioner of Zambia to Ghana and Madam Hellen Zuhu Masongo, First Secretary at the Zambia Embassy in Ghana.

Other members were; Mr George Milongo, an Engineer at the Ministry, Ms Pamela Nakombe, a Planner at the Ministry and Mukupa Nsenduluka, an official of Oxfam in Zambia.

It is a follow-up to a similar visit made by Government, Civil Society and Miner’s representatives from Zambia to Ghana in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Already, Dr Boamah said investigations on a total of 123 acres were completed and submitted for it to be demarcated to small-scale miners.

He noted that as part of the Authority’s research and development, a number of investigations had commenced on minerals and other hazardous chemicals to determine the quantity.

“When you take the sample we look out for the chemicals and their quantity. Although our focus is on good minerals like copper, lead, cobalt, and gold we do no avoid hazardous chemicals because it is important for users to know the concentration and advise accordingly,” he said.

At a visit to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the discussion centred on the agencies’ mandate, licensing regime and steps taken by the Agency to deal with irresponsible miners.

Mr Ebenezer Appah-Sampong, Deputy Executive Director of the EPA said by law the Agency had the mandate to lead in protecting and improving the environment and guide development to prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution and actions that lower the quality of life.

He said it was their role to mainstream environmental issues into the development process at the national, regional, district and community levels and also ensure environmentally sound and efficient use of both renewable and non-renewable resources in the process of national development.

On ensuring sanity in the mining and manufacturing sector, Mr Appah-Sampong said the Agency was using Akoben, a rating and public disclosure tool for companies.

Under the Akoben initiative, the environmental performance of mining and manufacturing operations was assessed under a five-colour rating scheme.

He explained that the colours were: Gold, which stood for excellent performance; Green for very good performance; Blue for good; Orange for satisfactory; and Red for poor performance.

Mr Appah-Sampong said although, the Agency had few issues with the initiative, plans were advanced to start this year and that it would measure the issue of gender, climate footprint, and human rights.

Mr Richard Hato-Kuevor, the Economic Justice Lead and Extractive Industries Policy Advisor, at Oxfarm explained that the visits were aimed at strengthening the relations between Ghana and Zambia in collaborating on initiatives to improve the mining industry to

“We are also facilitating this to create a platform for African countries with some commonalities share ideas, unite, grow their economy and create jobs for the youth. This is one of surest ways to spur development on the continent,” he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency