Business News of 2014-03-11

Minister worried about looming job losses

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini has expressed deep worry about the looming threat of job losses in the gold mining sector.

He said this could only compound and worsen the growing unemployment among the people.

This comes amid the not too impressive global market outlook for the precious mineral as evidenced from the fall in gold price and growing high cost of production.

Last year, Ghana recorded a four per cent decline in gold production and a 13 per cent drop in total revenue from the export of the commodity.

The development led to some turmoil in some of the mining companies leading to lay-off of workers while others are undertaking drastic reforms to avoid folding up.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister said under the countrys present labour market situation, throwing workers out of jobs would be most unhelpful to the governments efforts at putting people to work.

He has therefore called for closer collaboration between the mining companies and the newly created Committee on Redundancy by Employment and Labour Relations Ministry to fashion out appropriate strategies to deal with the crisis.

Alhaji Fuseini said this in an address read for him at the opening of the 2014 annual expanded Council meeting of the Ghana Chamber of Mines in Kumasi.

He appealed to management of mining companies to stick to their approved mining plans and seek clearance from the Minerals Commission before implementing anything outside those plans.

He said that was necessary to ensure fairness and sanity in their operations and minimize the negative impact of the current crisis, especially on employment.

Ahaji Fuseini spoke of the governments satisfaction with the progress made with regard to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between it and the Chamber on the use of locally manufactured products in the mining industry.

Already quicklime and hydrated lime, cement and cement products, activated carbon, heavy duty electric cables, grinding media, HDPE and PVC pipes, tyre re-treading and emulsion explosives had all been adopted by the industry body and the regulator for development and local procurement.

Alhaji Fuseini gave high marks to the companies for their continued investment in social infrastructure and employable skills training of people in the mining communities.

The companies spent a combined total of about US million on social infrastructure in 2012.

He appealed to the Chamber to come out with suggestions on how to effectively tackle the activities of illegal miners.

Source: GNA
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