Ghana has a diverse inventory of mineral resources including reserves of gold, bauxite, iron ore, manganese and diamonds and also occurrences of industrial minerals such as; Limestone, Brown clay, mica, silica sand, aggregate and dimension stone materials.
The favourable investment climate created by successive Governments since 1983 contributed to the development of mining in Ghana over the last three decades. Investment inflows into the mining sector over the period (1983 - 2013) of some US$ 13.7 billion increased the output of all minerals. The production of gold, Ghana’s flagship mineral, increased by 93% from 2.24 million ounces in 2002 to over 4.33 million ounces in 2012. Even with the rather significant decline in gold price, this led to only a slight dip of 0.7% in 2013 (4.29 million), with Ghana still maintaining its position as the second largest producer in Africa and currently tenth in the world. This has resulted in increased sector contributions to the economy of:
- About 6% of GDP
- 27% of Government revenue collected by the Domestic Tax Division of GRA by 2012
- Average of 40% of total merchandise export earnings over the last 10 yrs.
- Employed 28,000 for large scale and estimated over 1 million people for small scale mining.
Even in the face of the risks (technical, political and economic) associated with mining operations, Ghana recognizes that appropriate collaboration among the key stakeholders – Government, Industry and Local Communities – the exploration for and the extraction and processing of minerals can be done under win-win circumstances for all stakeholders, to generate surplus benefits in excess of all costs of production and lead to sustainable development of the economy as large.
Ghana therefore noted the pivotal role of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) which was adopted by the AU Heads of State and Government in February 2009 and aimed at promoting “transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources” in order to underpin “broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”. Within the framework of recent developments towards adapting and adopting the AMV to the perculiar circumstances of AU Member states through the Country Mining Vision (CMV) process, Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources by his letter dated 6th June, 2014, requested the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) for the support of the African Mineral Development Centre (AMDC) to undertake a CMV.
Following exchange of correspondence, a joint UNDP-UNECA and AMDC team met the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Minerals Commission (MC), on Wednesday November 5 2014 in Ghana, to dialogue on the process of formulating a CMV, as a way of reaching consensus and charting the way forward.
The interaction took note that Ghana’s Mining Sector Policy had reached an advanced stage of adoption by Government. It was agreed that since the policies were dynamic, the approval process for the Policy document could continue, which preparation for the CMV was being made, since the CMV process was not to counter nor compete with the Policy document, but rather help align it with the broad national development goals, with the AMV as the basis.
It was also acknowledged that Ghana’s mining sector was quite a matured one, which would have the advantage of some CMV requirements already being in place. On the other hand, entrenched practices and policies may need more work to change. However, it was agreed that the relevant scans should firstly, be undertaken to inform what specific direction to go.
Subsequent to the meeting, Ghana’s Mining Sector Policy document has been approved by Cabinet and a White Paper issued on it.