Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Flagbearer of the NPP, has outlined a comprehensive vision for the mining sector aimed at regulating the industry effectively, supporting small-scale miners, and safeguarding the environment.
Addressing the nation in Accra on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, to unveil his vision and priorities for the country if elected President, Dr. Bawumia highlighted the importance of assisting the approximately one million Ghanaians involved in small-scale mining to transition towards responsible mining practices. He emphasized the potential to create wealth and protect the environment through this approach.
“Our goal is to assist in the transformation of small-scale mining operations into larger entities through capacity building and access to financing for equipment acquisition. By supporting them, we can create numerous millionaires within the small-scale mining industry,” Dr. Bawumia stated.
He pledged his government’s support for formalizing the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector in collaboration with the Minerals Commission and other stakeholders. This initiative aims to ensure sustainable and responsible mining practices, with a significant portion of the gold produced being sold to the Bank of Ghana and added to the central bank’s gold reserves.
To facilitate responsible mining, Dr. Bawumia announced plans to license miners engaged in such practices, overseen by District Mining Committees. He emphasized the importance of adhering to licensing regulations to avoid any seizures or destruction of mining equipment.
Furthermore, Dr. Bawumia proposed the decentralization of the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure their presence in all mining districts. He also outlined measures to register every Ghanaian involved in small-scale mining under the Ghana Small Scale Miners Association using their Ghana Card.
Additional initiatives for the mining sector announced by Dr. Bawumia include the establishment of pension schemes for small-scale miners, vocational training on sustainable mining, equipment provision for land reclamation, and the setup of state-of-the-art gold processing units in collaboration with the private sector.
Furthermore, he pledged to abolish VAT on exploration services to encourage more exploration activities and establish a Minerals Development Bank and LBMA-certified gold refinery within four years. Moreover, all responsibly mined small-scale gold will be sold to designated entities for refining before export.
He said that as Vice-President he was like a driver’s mate but if elected he vowed to pursue his own vision and priorities.
Dr Bawumia said: “As Vice-President I am like a driver’s mate. But if, by the Grace of God, you make me President, I will be in the driver’s seat with constitutionally mandated authority to pursue my vision and my priorities. So, what do I want to do in terms of vision, priorities and policies if you give me the opportunity, by the Grace of God, to become President of the Republic of Ghana?”.