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Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources

Legislative amendment needed to address mining sector issues – Minister

Source: GNA

Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has said a legislative amendment is needed to current mining laws to seal the inadequacy and address illegal mining.

He said due to the unregulated nature of the operations of such miners, government kept losing a vital avenue for accruing tax revenues.

“The idea of artisanal mining solution would need legislative amendment to our current laws and legislation so that we are able to plug the loop holes in our laws that the illegal miners are using as a means to abuse the current regime,” he said.

Mr Owusu-Bio was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a report presentation on Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Coast Mining in Ghana, organised by the Gold Coast Refinery Limited on Thursday, in Accra.

The presentation of the final report will add value to the production of gold and assist government in finding solutions to issues in the mining sector.

The stakeholder consultation brought together financial institutions amongst other investors to brainstorm on the findings.

He said refining gold in Ghana would add value and fetch higher dividends from gold.

Mr Paul Asimenu, the Legal Consultant to the Gold Coast Refinery Limited, said the company said the continuous export of raw gold denied the country of all associated benefits and by-products of refining such as silver, platinum, palladium and copper.

He said policy initiatives aimed at adding value to raw materials in the mining industry have largely not been realised.

He said aside the benefits derived from gold, government needed to make the environment sustainable in the refinery process.

Mr Asimenu said the Government must have rules and regulations that would enable the small scale miners to form cooperatives and operate in an orderly manner which would go a long way to prevent the country’s water bodies from being polluted.

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