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Investing in Ghana's Mineral Processing Sector
Ghana is endowed with substantial mineral resources and has a well-established mining sector, which has grown considerably in recent years to represent an important pillar of the Ghanaian economy.
The minerals extractive industry currently has thirteen large-scale mining companies and, over three hundred registered small scale mining groups and ninety mine support service companies.
Industrial minerals are geological materials which are mined for their commercial value. They are not fuel (fuel minerals or mineral fuels) and are not sources of metals (metallic minerals). They are used in their natural state or after beneficiation either as raw materials or as additives in a wide range of applications.
Industrial minerals that are produced in Ghana include:
e. Limestone / Dolomite
i. Silica sand
It is government's policy to diversify the exploitation of its mineral resources base from the traditional minerals like gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese to include the exploitation of industrial minerals which could promote effective linkages in the economy, to reduce current over reliance on imported substitutes.
The industry operates under the objectives of the National Mining and Minerals Policy. The core aim of the Mining and Minerals Policy is to: "Conserve and sustain the development of the nation's mineral resources and the maintenance of the environment".
Some objectives in the Minerals Policy are:
a. Ensuring that Ghana's mineral endowment is managed on a sustainable economic, social and environmental basis and that there is an equitable sharing of the financial and developmental benefits of mining between investors and all Ghanaian stakeholders.
b. Encouraging local and foreign private sector participation in the exploration for, and commercial exploitation of mineral resources, consistent with the government's commitment to a free-market enterprise economy. The government recognizes that private sector investors need to be able to operate profitably, be internationally competitive and satisfy their shareholders' and employees' expectations.
To this end, the government will establish and maintain the following:
• A conducive macro-economic environment for mining investment
• A stable regulatory environment that provides for the transparent and even-handed treatment of investors
• A stable, competitive and fair fiscal regime
c. Achieve a socially acceptable balance between mining and the physical and human environment and ensure that internationally accepted standards of health, mining safety and environmental protection are observed by all participants in the mining sector.
d. Encourage and facilitate orderly and sustainable development of small-scale mining. There is considerable potential for small-scale minerals exploitation in Ghana and the Government recognizes that small scale mining can provide additional or alternative livelihoods in rural areas and can help to foster the development of Ghanaian mining skills, entrepreneurship and capital.
e. Empower Ghanaians to become professional miners, mine managers and owners by maximizing opportunities for minerals-related education, training, career development and other support.
f. Develop streamlined and effective institutional arrangements for the mining sector, together with adequate capacity to promote, authorize, monitor and regulate mining operations.
g. Endow Ghanaian mining authorities with the capacities to gather, analyze and disseminate geo-data necessary for the promotion of minerals sector investment.
h. Promotion of sustainable mineral resource management and utilization.
i. Promotion of effective inter-agency and cross-sectorial linkages.
j. Creation of an enabling environment for effective private sector participation.
k. Promotion of effective community participation in multiple uses of mineral resources.
l. Developing institutional capacity and capability for mineral service delivery.