Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison has called for the diversification and value addition to the country's mineral resources.
That, he said, was the best way the Ghanaian economy could enjoy the benefits of its mineral resources.
Dr Addison made the call at the fourth Ghana Mining Industry Awards (GMIA) in Accra at the weekend explained that the diversification and value addition of the country's mineral resources would help to link the mining industry to the other sectors of the economy.
This year's GMIA which also marks the 90th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) was on the theme, 'Responsible and sustainable mining: Partner for national development.'
Asanko Gold emerged the Mining Company of the Year and also the Best Performer in Innovation, while Interplast Limited won both the Best Performer in Mine Supplies and Services, Best Performer in Local Manufacturing of Mining Inputs and Ghana Manganese Company won the Best Performer in Local Content.
Max Max Limited won the Best in Contract Mining, Stanbic Bank won the Financial Deal of the Year and Goldfield Ghana Limited won both Best Performer in Occupation Health and Safety and in Environmental Management and Golden Star Bogoso Prestea Limited won the Best in Performer in Corporate Social Investment.
Dr Addison who was the guest of honour lauded the mining industry for its contribution to the development of the country, indicating that total mineral export in 2017 amounted to $6billion and as of the end of October 2018 the country had raised about $5.8 billion, and was on course to meeting the $6billion target this year.
"In terms of foreign direct investment flows into the economy, we had identified as of 2005 that the mining sector has also attracted six billion in FDIs accounting for nearly 60 per cent of FDIs flows into the national economy. So this trend shows that mining is indeed very important not only for export but also for FDI flows," Dr Addison said.
The Governor said mining royalties increased significantly to GHȻ749 million in 2017 from GHȻ261 million in 2016 and entreated member companies of the GCM to repatriate their gold proceeds back into the economy.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh in a speech read on his behalf paid glowing tribute to the mining companies for their contributions to national development, stressing that the industry contributed to export earnings, employment and job creation.
He said mineral resources were essential for industrialisation and gold and other minerals presented an opportunity for the country to develop.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh disclosed that the Board for the Mineral Development Fund would soon be constituted.
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Eric Asubonteng commended the members of the GCM for their hard work which had helped to position Ghana as responsible and leading country in sustainable mining in the sub-region.
He entreated members not to put corporate profit interest ahead of protecting the environment and the ecology for posterity.
Mr Asubonteng said the GCM was in discussions with key stakeholders for some mining inputs to be produced locally, stressing local production of mining inputs would be of great benefit to the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of GM, Sulemanu Koney said the GMIA was meant to recognise individuals and organisations which had worked to place the mining industry in an enviable position.