Takoradi — A three-day conference dubbed "Ghana Gold Expo" is underway in the Western Regional capital of Takoradi with the theme; "Promoting zero mercury."
The Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources, Mr Kwaku Asoma-Cheremeh who opened the conference on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the Western Region was the hub for gold mining.
He said the event was a laudable initiative which was in line with government's commitment to promote responsible mining and derive maximum benefits from the exploitation of the natural resources to stimulate broad-base growth.
Mr Asoma-Cheremeh said the Western Region hosted a significant proportion of Ghana's mineral resources that were exploited and contributing immensely to the economic development of the country.
He observed that the conference was a way to support government to promote sustainable mineral resource development and extraction for sustainable development of the people.
Mr Asoma-Cheremeh said in order to promote government's agenda of industrial transformation, it has established the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation as a strategic vehicle for the full value chain production and sale of bauxite resources.
This would also aid in the establishment of an integrated aluminium industry in the country.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, called on international bodies, companies in the mining industry and all stakeholders to find means to stop illegal mining, popularly known as "galamsey" in the country.
He advocated new technologies and other innovations to address issues bordering on galamsey in order to bring about responsible mining.
Mr Darko-Mensah told the participants that the region was ready to collaborate and accept ideas from professionals at the forum and elsewhere to bring sanity into the illegal mining in order to restore the polluted water bodies and degraded lands.
He said the region was ready for business in all these fields and investors were welcome to the region to partner government and the private sector.
The regional minister said the Ghana Gold Expo 2020 was a way to invite investors in the areas of exploration, mining, processing, jewellery, research, financing, technology transfer and the tourism, adding that "Ghana was the best place to invest on the continent.
The Board Chairman of the Minerals Commission, Mr Samuel Kwaku Boafoh said Ghana's gold mining continue to increase as the country beat South Africa in 2018 to become the largest gold producing country in Africa.
He said the commission mandated by law to regulate and manage the utilisation of the mineral resources of Ghana was also charged with the coordination and implementation of policies relating to mining.
It would therefore continue to work with all stakeholders to formulate strategies that would enhance sustainable gold production in the interest of Ghana and all investors.
Dr Christiana O. Hood of Cape Coast University took participants through research findings on mercury in water bodies.