Lower Gold Prices Affecting Operations

The dip in international gold prices in the first quarter of 2013 combined with the high cost of operations is leading companies to review their work plans and to cut operating cost. Mr Daniel Owiredu, President of Ghana Chamber of Mines, who made this known in Accra during the Annual General Meeting of the Chamber, said the situation had led to the review of projects meant to be expanded. He said such projects are either reconsidered or downsized in the light of the challenging environment.“Whilst the depressed mood will adversely affect planned projects in the early part of the life cycle, more advanced projects are expected to come on stream,” he said. Mr Owiredu said additional production is expected from Golden Star Resources News Century Mine as well as Newmont Ghana Gold’s Akyem Mine albeit under stringent conditions. On illegal mining, Mr Owiredu commended government for the initiative to flush out the operators and pledged the industry support to address the challenge and to ensure that the country benefits from responsible exploitation of its natural resources. In a speech read on his behalf, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said the activities of illegal miners had led to the to the pollution of water bodies. He said illegal mining is a threat to food security because it affects farmlands. “Food security will be lost as many more farmlands are being stripped bare without following the steps required to remediate and ecologically resuscitate the land, as pollution due to chemical application, deforestation and vegetation loss are working against the environment,” Alhaji Fuseini said. He said government had charged chief executives of the various local governments to lead their assemblies in the fight to eradicate illegal mining in their jurisdictions. “The chief executives of the various assemblies will be held responsible for non-compliance. In fact, in mining areas, this will constitute one benchmark to ascertain performance,” the minister said. Alhaji Fuseini assured the Chamber that impunity would not be permitted in the mining industry, saying government would instil discipline and prudence in the management of the country’s natural resources.