Mineworkers Commend Prez Mahama

Ghana’s over-reliance on primary production has over the years denied her of the numerous benefits from mining. It is as a result of this that the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union lauded President John Mahama on his recent call to move Ghana’s mining sector to the secondary stage of processing mineral resources. In a statement issued on Tuesday and signed by Prince William Ankrah, General-Secretary, the union noted that the absence of secondary processing of mineral resources in Ghana was basically driven by a kind of control that created the impression that the country could only generate money from raw gold, bauxite and other minerals. President Mahama recently announced that his government was seeking international cooperation to move the mining sector from a primary processor of mineral resources to a secondary one. “Arguably, this could become a major Presidential special initiative of our generation. Indeed, this needs the determination of a politician. We have no doubt the President has such conviction.” According to Mr Ankrah, the gold refinery notion had died down for decades, adding that Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s vision of establishing a gold refinery at Tarkwa could not materialise. “The proposed facility for the refinery has been turned into a university hostel, thus defeating its intended purpose. He called for the initiation of a legal provision that required that at least 20 per cent of raw gold produced in the country should be retained as a matter of urgency. The GMWU General-Secretary said it was sad that countries such as Thailand and Dubai without natural mineral resources had amazing factories that processed gold and diamond into jewellery. He called for an aluminium smelting factory for bauxite, a diamond processing plant at Akwatia as well as one for iron ore in the Oppong Valley. He said although research had shown that “galamsey” is a source of livelihood for one million people, it should not be the basis to allow things to be done in a haphazard manner at the expense of the masses.