Govt to help miners maintain jobs

The government is working to ensure that workers are not laid off despite the fall in the price of gold on the world market and energy crisis in the country, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, has said.

He said although the current power situation continued to affect the operations of the mining sector, he did not envisage any laying off of workers in the mining sector.

Speaking at the official launch of the Ghana Chapter of the International Mining for Development Centre (IM4DC) in Accra yesterday, Nii Osah Mills said since the power situation began, the mining sector had been coping with the challenge in a way that would not lead to lay-off.

Last year, about 5,000 workers in the mining sector were laid off due to the fall in world gold price and the energy crisis which compelled mining companies to cut down on their operations.

The launch brought together more than 80 Ghanaians who had previously attended Australian-funded mining courses to exchange ideas on new initiatives and best practices in the mining sector.

The occasion also marked the Ghana Mining for Development Alumni Day, which was on the theme: “Collaboration for Change; Mineral resources for shared prosperity.”

According to Nii Osah Mills, efforts were being made by the government to address the power situation in order to boost the operations of the mining sector.

“We are currently in talks with the Ministry of Power on what can be specially done for the mining sector to maintain its activities,” he added.

In her welcome address, the Australian Head of Development Co-operation for West Africa, Ms Zabeta Moutafis, urged beneficiaries of the Australian mining courses to apply the expertise and skills they had acquired and relationships they had built to contribute to the broader development of Ghana.

She said the Australian government would continue to support the country by providing the needed resources, adding that “We hope the beneficiaries will take advantage of the support to help develop the economy of Ghana.”

For his part, the Deputy Director of IM4DC, said the rationale behind the launch of the Ghana chapter of IM4DC was to influence change in the standard of living locally.

“Here in Ghana, we have engaged diverse groups across government agencies, civil society and academic institutions, all focused on ensuring that Ghana realises positive outcomes from the continued development of its mineral resource and endowment,” he said.

source : Graphic Online