Business News of 2014-05-21

Minerals Commission to put moratorium on prospecting license

The Minerals Commission said on Tuesday it would soon announce a moratorium on prospecting license to new applicants.

The moratorium, which would last for 90 days, is to enable the Commission to clean up the existing list and to make available concession for prospective investors and also reduce speculative holding of prospecting license concessions.

Speaking during his first media interaction since his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Dr Toni Aubynn said the move had become necessary as people were just holding on to the license, leading to the absence of grounds for prospecting activities.

Currently, 235 companies hold recognizance and prospecting license with 184 of them being Ghanaian companies.

He said the Commission would however encourage prospective investors not to only explore the traditional minerals currently under production, but to venture into exploring other minerals in the country.

There are lesser known minerals which have not been fully explored and exploited such as kaolin, solar salt, clay, marble, mica, limestone, iron ore, zinc among others, he said.

Dr Aubynn said recent air borne geophysical findings in Ghana have indicated the occurrence of some minerals, including copper, barite and phosphate, uranium, lead, chromites and columbite and it would be promoted to attract investors in the sector by way of diversifying the country’s mineral exploitation.

He said small scale mining is important in the country’s socio-economic development, saying the Commission fully supports government’s use of the security forces to flush out illegal miners as the consequences are huge.

Dr Aubynn assured that the Minerals Commission would strive to make Ghana the leading destination of mining sector investment in Africa through creating a congenial atmosphere in which all stakeholders work as partners in safe environment to achieve a common goal.