The Minerals Commission has put in measures to encourage Ghanaians to have mineral rights.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr Ben Aryee, made this known at a two-day workshop organised by Newmont Golden Ridge Limited, in Koforidua on Tuesday for media practitioners from the Eastern Region on best mining practices and corporate social responsibility.
He said the perception that only foreigners are given license to mine minerals in Ghana is not true.
Mr Aryee noted that the difficulty that many Ghanaians who had interest in mining faced was the huge capital deposit involved.
He said out of the 250 exploration licenses given out by the Commission, 90 per cent were issued to Ghanaians who were made to pay only 1/15 of what foreigners paid.
Mr Aryee said the Commission is also keen on streamlining activities of mining to ensure that the state and the people have the fullest benefit, adding that the commission is therefore working assiduously to curtail the activities of illegal mining.
He observed that illegal mining popularly known as galamsey is gaining grounds because those involved incur no cost in their operations, while some had the backing of traditional authorities.
According to Mr Aryee, the problems facing the mining industry was created by Ghanaians who front for foreign companies to get licenses.
He said the development tends to deprive the state and the people the benefit of the mining industry.
The Regional Minister, Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi, in a speech read on his behalf, urged Newmont to employ more indigenes as part of their social and corporate responsibility towards the people and also affirm their commitment to the development of the host communities.
He called on the media to work without fear of interference to ensure that people in the mining communities receive an acceptable deal from the companies.
Mr Oduro-Kwarteng Marfo, External Relations Manager of Newmont Golden Ridge Limited said the training workshop was in line with the company’s development agenda for its stakeholders including the media to build their capacities in the area of mining reporting.
He said Newmont believes that its social and corporate responsibility includes the development and well-being of stakeholders.
Mr Marfo reiterated the company’s commitment to operate in fair and acceptable environment for the benefit of the people. GNA