NPP flagbearer pledges to establish Minerals Development Bank for miners

The New Patriotic Party's (NPP) flag bearer for the 2024 Presidential election, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has pledged to establish a Minerals Development Bank for small scale miners when given the nod. He said just as the government had set up the Agricultural Development Bank for farmers, 'l am also going to establish a bank for miners to offer them the needed financial support.' The NPP flag bearer, who is also the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, said this at Akoon in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality when he engaged stakeholders to discuss mining and its related activities as part of his tour to the Western Region. 'Report from the Ghana Geological Survey Department indicated that Ghana has seven gold belts, starting from Axim of about 43,000 square kilometres. Only 23,000 square kilometres have been explored, leaving about five billion ounces of gold yet to be mined.' He said they would empower the Geological Survey Department, the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa and other instituti ons to get into exploration and find out where these deposits are located 'Once they find the deposits, our policy is going to be 100 per cent Ghanaian ownership of our resources, the concessions would be allocated to small scale miners, we are not going to give it to foreigners, so they give us royalties.' Dr Bawumia stated that 'we will formalise the small-scale mining regime so that every miner would have license and operate accordingly. I want to make small scale miners multi-millionaires. I don't want us to be chasing them, ceasing or destroying their equipment.' In addition, the Vice President said a common user facility for processing of gold would be introduced for the miners to recover 90 per cent of gold from their tailings and ore instead of the current 30 to 40 per cent they have due to lack of technology. 'We will have discussions with the big mining companies to release their abandoned shafts for community mining, the new places we discover will also be used for the same programme to create more jobs for Ghanaians' he announced He pointed out that 'A lot of the gold you mine is smuggled out of the country, but with our new policy, we will buy the gold from you at the world market price, to ensure you have the money and Ghana will get the gold Under my watch, we would change the curriculum and the Technical and Vocational Education and Skills Training (TVET) would begin to teach responsible mining to protect farmlands, forest reserves and water bodies' He added that with the large-scale mining, they would abolish the Value - Added Tax binding mining to enable many people venture into exploration to help grow the economy. The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa Nsuaem constituency, Mr George Mireku Duker thanked the Vice President for giving hope to all small-scale miners. He said with the sacrifices that the Vice President had made over the years to improve the economy they inherited, the residents of Tarkwa Nsuaem constituency would en sure he gets not get less than 70 per cent of the total votes in the upcoming election. The Vice President was accompanied by the Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Senior campaign aids, Ing Kwabena Adjei Agyepong and Mr Salifu Saeed, Madam Catherine Abelema Afeku, former MP for Evalue Ajomoro Gwira constituency, Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, former MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem constituency and regional executives of the NPP. Source: Ghana News Agency