Nkroful — Ghanaians in the diaspora have been urged to invest in the booming mining industry in the country.
The Chairman of the Minerals Commission (MINCOM), Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, who made the call said the mining sector presents good future prospects and it was time Ghanaians become part of the new growth.
"Ghana has overtaken South Africa and is now the leading producer of gold in Africa and seventh in the world, even if the galamsey activities are also taken into consideration, we can be sixth in the world. Indeed, we want the best and proper practices and so we all must be against illegal mining," he said.
Mr Boafo said: "We must encourage small scale mining to become large scale mining companies where two or three can merge. We want Ghanaians elsewhere who have the money to come and invest in the country. The future is bright and like the oil, we must take the commanding heights of the industry."
He was speaking in an interview with journalists on Tuesday, after he led the board of MINCOM on a visit to the Nzema Mine of Adamus Resources Limited, at Nkroful in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
He said gold mining should not leave communities poorer, but develop them as in the case of Johannesburg in South Africa and assured that government remained committed and desirous to ensure that mining improved the livelihood of the people.
He said ASANCO Mines and Adamus Resources were both purely Ghanaian companies and believed that other Ghanaians would also take advantage of the investment climate and go into large scale mining instead of engaging in galamsey.
He noted: "People don't understand but we need good practices within the industry, we are not against people who want to work, but we want them to do it properly and with good practices. We must improve on the illegal mining, we can't accept that; most people in the illegal sector will not attain even 40 years and they will die because of cancer."
Mr Boafo said government encouraged future miners to pursue courses on best practices at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) so that they could engage in good mining businesses.
He also indicated that mining companies like their counterparts in Canada and Australia could register on the stock exchange market and be assured of readily growth on their capital and also boost the industry's future investment.
On community mining, Mr Boafo told the journalists that he believed that it could be possible, but explained that it would only happen depending on the availability of lands, stressing that, "People want to come to where Adamus is mining, our thinking must change".
He suggested that one key strategy in tackling the galamsey menace was through education and dialogue, but stressed that MINCOM would continue to play its regulatory roles to check the illegalities in the mining sector and their devastating effects.