Small Scale miners need OECD certification in Ghana- Convener, Ghana Gold Expo

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It has been established that no single small scale or community mining firm in Ghana has been certified by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD is an international organization whose work is to ensure responsible sourcing of minerals, especially in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining industry. It thus, work at formalizing the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining sector to mitigate critical issues such as low level of safety measures, occupational health and environmental protection and sustainability, associated with the sector.

In addressing these challenges, an OECD Due Diligence Guidance for responsible mineral supply chains, was developed with an objective of building a secure, transparent and verifiable supply chains, and also ensuring that legitimate artisanal mining communities can benefit from ongoing trade in conflict-affected and high-risk areas and to support their development. The OECD also seeks to cooperate with initiatives such as the Global Mercury Partnership to work on the reduction of mercury use for gold production.

It is on this background, especially with the proliferation of mercury use in Ghana’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, the maiden edition of the Ghana Gold Expo will leverage on the expertise and standards to support industry players in Ghana to mine in a more responsible way.

Convener for Ghana Gold Expo, Steven Blessing Ackah disclosed that, the international community and buyers of minerals have had grave concerns with how gold is mined and processed in Ghana’s Artisanal and Small-Scale mining sector.

He stressed that the country has failed to optimize gains from the sale of its gold mined in the artisanal and small-scale sector.

“Until we support the small scale with responsible gold mining, these issues will still remain. Because somebody can just take the gold to Accra and sell…once the gold is exported and when they see it they say your gold is responsible.

“So what happens is that they take our own gold, first by rejecting it because our gold is not responsible, and then they take it to a refinery, stamp it and they call it green gold or responsible gold” he explained.

Mr Blessing Ackah hinted that a contract has been signed with the OECD, to offer some capacity building for miners in the sector on responsible mining.

“Because no small scale miner has an OECD certificate” he added.

He emphasized that bearers of such certification could easily access capital from multinationals to expand their business.

“Every small scale miner in India has an OECD certificate. Once you have it, you can just go onto the internet find a buyer, once you have that he knows that you are traceable, clean,… that you are doing green gold. So automatically he will come” he disclosed.

Mr Blessing Ackah made these remarks in a media briefing on the upcoming Ghana Gold Expo scheduled for 8 to 10 March, 2020, at the Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel, Takoradi. Participants numbering over five hundred from thirty-five countries will share insight of range of topical issues in the whole gold mining value chain.

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