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Minister calls for protection of natural resources

Under the new Minerals and Mining Regulations of July 2012,(L. I. ), foreign mining companies in the country are supposed to provide a  programme for the training of Ghanaians to take over positions held by expatriates in the company after a period.

This issue was highlighted at the first in a series of nationwide sensitization workshop aimed at educating stakeholders in the mining industry about the new L. I. at Akyem Oda on Wednesday.

Speaking at the formal opening of the workshop, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Mike Allen Hammah, said mining resources are not replaceable and there was the need to ensure that the needs of the current and future generations are taken into consideration when the land was being exploited.

He called for the development of the mining sector as an agent for economic transformation and national development rather than as an enclave adding that the new Minerals and Mining Regulation was passed to replace the old mining regulations of 1970, L.I.665 which had become outdated, regressive and deficient.

Mr. Hammah said the new L. I is in six parts including provision for implementation of local content to give full effect to the Minerals and Mining Act. 2006, Act 703.

In a speech read on behalf of the Chairman of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Fred Ohene-Kena, he said the greatest challenge facing the mining industry in the country is the sustainable exploitation of the mineral resources within good environmental and acceptable social practices.

He said mining revenue accounted for six per cent of Gross Domestic Product of the country and it was important that efforts were made for the country to derive the maximum benefits from the sector.

Mr. Ohene-Kena said after passing the L.I, the most important part remaining was the implementation of the law and compliance saying could not be achieved without sufficient sensitization of the stakeholders in the industry.

The Birim Central Municipal Chief Executive, Ms Ophelia Koomson, in a speech read on her behalf, said although the mineral wealth of the country was invested in the state, state institutions could not effectively manage it without the collaboration of all stakeholders.

She called on the participants to make the necessary inputs for the efficient implementation of the new law.

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Posted by: Today Ghana

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