Large scale mining companies have been called upon to ensure that the quest to support government’s objectives of growing the economy does not override the need to run efficient mines based on the principles of responsibility.
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM), Eric Asubonteng, who made the call, said for every mineral-rich country, responsible mining cannot be considered as an afterthought, urging mining companies to never forget that they are accountable not only to their investors, but also to the government, host communities and generations unborn.
“As you are aware, health and safety are so crucial to our business so I was pleased to hear that the technical committee [of the Chamber] has recommended the creation of a portal for reporting incidents on the mines,” he stated.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber, Sulemanu Koney, at the GCM’s 2018 Environmental, Technical and Social Affairs Conference in Kumasi, the GCM president explained that the rationale behind the move is to keep members abreast of safety developments on other mines and to provide details on precautionary and remedial measures.
The two-day conference, which is part of the Chamber’s 90th anniversary celebrations, was held under the theme: ‘A Responsible & Sustainable Mining Industry; A Partner for National Development’.
The maiden joint conference discussed issues germane to the sustainability of the minerals and mining industry with the objectives to stimulate deeper collaboration between regulators and member companies, identify solutions to operational, environmental and social bottlenecks on mine sites and foster cross-learning through sharing of best practices and peer reviewed dissemination of research findings.
Prof. Chris Gordon, a senior lecturer at the Institute for Environment & Sanitation Studies of the University of Ghana, said responsible mining must encompass mineral-based economic development, poverty alleviation, good governance, public engagement, efficient enforcement and political will.
He charged mining companies to establish a robust plan to monitor and implement sustainability targets identified by stakeholders, as they also develop and facilitate the execution of the plan and update the monitoring plan.
The environment and sanitation consultant also urged mining companies to have regular stakeholders’ engagement by organising meetings and discussion with local people and local and central governments.
Prof. Gordon advised the member companies to develop proper communication plan and co-design of their sustainability targets in order to gain support and avoid conflicts.
Source: Daily Guide
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