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The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, has on Wednesday 5th June, 2024, announced a new era of sustainable mining and power investment at 2024 West African Mining and Power Conference and Exhibition (WAMPOC/WAMPEX) while urging stakeholders in the mining and power sectors to prioritize sustainable investment opportunities that benefit both the industry and host communities.

In a compelling address, the Minister reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to becoming Africa’s premier mining hub. He outlined the government’s strategic initiatives to drive sustainable investment and development in the mining and power sectors.

On behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Jinapor highlighted Ghana’s status as Africa’s leading gold producer and a central hub for mining services in West Africa. Emphasizing the theme, “The Mining and Power Hub: Driving Sustainable Investment Opportunities in West Africa,” he underscored the government’s efforts to balance resource extraction with environmental protection and community development.

Hon. Jinapor announced initiatives to promote exploration, beneficiation, and value addition, as well as local content and local participation in the sector. He revealed the commissioning of several new offices for the Minerals Commission across Ghana, aimed at decentralizing operations and improving regulatory efficiency. “This afternoon, I will have the privilege of commissioning a new Office Complex for the Minerals Commission at Akim Oda in the Eastern Region. We are poised to take the regulatory mandate of the Minerals Commission to where mining actually takes place, thereby promoting efficiency in service delivery and effective monitoring of mining operations,” he stated.

To ensure the long-term viability of the mining industry, Jinapor highlighted incentives for exploration activities and measures to enhance local participation. “We are promoting investment in exploration to uncover new mineral reserves. For example, we are working with the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ghana Chamber of Mines to explore the best framework for treating critical imposts such as VAT on exploration,” he said. Additionally, he noted the listing of Atlantic Lithium Limited on the Ghana Stock Exchange, giving Ghanaians the opportunity to own part of the company and its operations.

The Lands Minister also stated the construction of a gold refinery and plans to restrict raw bauxite exports. “We have constructed a four hundred kilogramme capacity gold refinery to refine the gold we produce, and work on a $450 million manganese refinery will soon commence,” he disclosed. Furthermore, a new Legislative Instrument will be enacted to restrict the export of raw bauxite, fostering an integrated aluminium industry within the country.

The Minister called for continued collaboration between government, industry players, and local communities to ensure sustainable development. “We must continue to work together to overcome the challenges that confront the industry, including the issue of illicit financial flows. As we work to drive sustainable investment opportunities, we must ensure that these investments benefit host communities who bear the immediate consequences of our work,” he urged.

Highlighting Africa’s vast mineral wealth, Jinapor underscored the continent’s readiness to promote optimal exploitation of these resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth.

Delivering the Keynote address on behalf of the Asantehene, His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Omanhene of Essumeja and Asanteman Bekumhene, Odehene Okyere Kusi Ntrama encouraged participants to choose a greener way of going about their line of work, wether wind or solar, adding that no matter how small will contribute to combating climate change. “Feel it as a duty to ensure that Mining and Power can be carried out in a sustainable manner to help save our environment. Do not shy away from this” He added

The Asanteman Bekumhene, also urged investors to see the need to invest in Ghana as he said they will not be disappointed while urging them to develop their catchment communities.

He entreated all to commit to a sustainability saying “it cannot be overstated emphasized that government’s and all industries have a role to play to making the theme of the 17th WAMPOCWAMPEX24 Conference a success.”

On his part, the Chairman of the Conference and President of Ghana Chamber of Mines, ESQ. Michael Edem, said the WAMPEX, WAMPOC Conference comes at a very crucial point of where all participating industries are expected to respond to sustainable development and environmental protection.

He hoped that the 3-day event will afford participants the opportunity to reflect, explore opportunities and chart sustainable part for the future of an industry that is prosperous and all inclusive.

The Chairman said he is confident that in the course of the conference, all industries present will gain valuable insites to drive their industries foward while urging all to try and contribute to the sustainable development and help fight climate change.

The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Suleman Konney, in his welcome address he announced that While the conference WAMPOC and opening ceremony ends today, the exhibition WAMPEX will hold till the 7th of June, 2024

Mr. Suleman Konney, said this year’s theme; “Driving Sustainable Investment Opportunities in West Africa” will reinforce the need for businesses in the mining and power sectors to remain viable in the face of economic challenges whilst at the same time providing the hallmark for transformation of the sub-region.

WAMPOC/WAMPEX24 is an international networking conference and exhibition for the Mining and power industry in the West Africa that pools together captains of the mining and power companies, West Africa Ministers for mining and power, international and local investors, NGOs, researchers and traditional leaders.