Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufour (R), the former President of the GCM handing over to Mr. Eric Asubonteng, the current President of the Chamber at its 90th AGM held in Accra
Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufour (R), the former President of the GCM handing over to Mr. Eric Asubonteng, the current President of the Chamber at its 90th AGM held in Accra

Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM), the umbrella body of mining companies in Ghana says it’s going to champion and introduce to the manufacturing sector the importance of Grinding Media to the mining industry in Ghana.

At their council meeting held on last Friday, the Chamber informed its members that they are going to organize a workshop on grinding media at Tema on Tuesday 19 June, 2018 for the manufacturing companies, and ensure that whoever is interested in the mining industry, first and foremost has the ability to do it.

The Chamber’s meeting with the manufacturers will take a look at all the technical issue surrounding Grinding Media and also find solution to address the challenges associated with it in order to encourage the service providers.

Grinding Media is a heavy metal used to crush or grind material into a powder form (cement, mineral…) in a mill. According to the information gathered, Grinding Media is widely used in production lines for powders such as cement, silicates, refractory material, fertilizer, glass ceramics, etc as well as for ore dressing of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Speaking to the Daily Express at the 90th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the GCM held in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber, Mr. Sulemanu Koney explained that the Chamber is making sure that the manufacturing sector understands the procurement list the mining industry requires and make sure they are equip to supply the items on the list.

Currently, the Local Procurement List is 19 and it includes Grinding Media and others such as Cement & Cement Products/Grout, Quick & Hydrated Lime, Electrical Cables, (PVC) Pipes, General Lubricants, Plastic Sample Bags, Calico Bags, Bullion Boxes, Conveyor Rollers, Metal/PVC Core Trays, Overalls & Working Cloths, High Density Polyethylene & polyvinyl Chloride, Chain Link Fencing/Wire Netting/Barbed Wire, and Haulage Services & Catering Services and among others.

The total spends by the producing member companies on goods and services procured from in-country suppliers and manufacturers, was US$1.23 billion in 2017. This represents 34% of realised mineral revenue and an increase on the preceding year’s spending.

Mr. Koney said “our meeting with the manufacturers is to let them understand what Grinding Media is about and the companies that are interested in supplying the mining industry can take the advantage to do so,” he told the Daily Express, noting this is hard core mining but inputs use in the mining sector.

Mr. Koney said this is not the only thing they are doing to support the manufacturing sector. He mentioned that recently, they supported those in the electrical cable sector, which made them signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) to make sure that the inputs they accessed locally are of high quality standards.

“The GCM is doing this voluntary service because the Chamber believes it is good under the mining industry and for Ghana as a whole. Because GCM has always believed that on the back of the mining industry we should be able to grow the manufacturing industry in this country. That is the only way we can optimise the benefit of the mining for our country. So we are serious about this and we don’t take it lightly at all,” he told the Daily Express.

He mentioned that they will invite GSA to be part of the workshop because essentially is about having standards for these inputs before they are supply into the mining industry. “Because if we don’t have standards and the manufacturers put those items into industry, they will crumbly and once they crumbly you destroy production and it become a problem,” he added.

“As industry players, we support the manufacturing sector to ensure that what goes into the mining process its fit for purpose and it’s satisfy the standard expected in the mining sector,” he added.

According to him, if there is any sector in this country that supports the manufacturing sector better, then it’s the mining industry. “Ghana has benefited from the mining sector,” he stated.

However, he believes that sometimes it’s the way Ghanaians view things. “If you consider the fact that when Ghana’s economy was on its knees, one of the major plans which was used to revive the economy was the mining industry in the 80s, under the Economy Recovery Programme (ERP),” he noted.

He explained that during that period, the mangers of the economy decided to levy the mining industry to kick start the economy. “So one of the things the government did was to liberalize the mining sector so that the private sector will come in and increase production. Once you increase production more revenue in terms of forex will come into the country.”

“Even if you take the linkages with non-mineral economy, it’s phenomenon. It’s just that we don’t measure them. It’s so important that we actually measure this relationship between the mining industry and other linkages and opportunities it provides.”

He said despite all these the Chamber understands they need to do more, but it needs collaboration. “There is no reason why we should be importing certain inputs into the country for the mining sector. We should be able to manufacture them. But who has to manufacture? Who has to take the leadership? We are doing our bit in terms of standards, engagement with the manufacturers, and others. But is should not rest only with the chamber but government agencies, ministries should come in and support us,” he appealed.

Meanwhile, data from the Minerals Commission (MC) suggest that Ghana’s gold production declined marginally from 4.24 million ounces in 2016 to 4.22 million ounces in 2017, due to developments in the small-scale mining sector.

Production from the member companies of the Chamber increased by 11% to 2.81 million ounces in 2017 from 2.54 million ounces in 2016. Also, shipments of manganese by the Ghana Manganese Company increased significantly from two million ounces in 2016 to three million ounces in 2017 as a result of expansion in mine operations.

However, exports of diamond by Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) fell from 143,005 carats in 2016 to 86,924 carats in 2017 due to lower production from artisanal and small-scale producers.

On the back of growth in production and modest increase in the traded price of gold, the total realised revenue of the producing member companies of the Chamber went up by 13% to US$3.68 billion in 2017.

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