New Gold Refinery In Offing

Mireku Duker with LBMA officials

A Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has revealed government intentions to build a new gold refinery for Ghana’s Artisanal Small-Scale Mining (ASM) industry.

He said that the refinery will be built with the help of the London Bullion Marketing Association (LBMA).

The Deputy Minister disclosed this on Thursday, April 27, 2023 during a meeting with the LBMA officials on the sidelines of the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains currently underway in Paris, France.

Mr. Duker wrote after the meeting that the LBMA officials were led by the CEO, Ruth Cromwell, and added that the Association had reiterated its support for Ghana to have a clear roadmap in acquiring a certified refinery.

“I am very glad to indicate that, LBMA is ready to assist Ghana establish a new refinery for the Artisanal Small-Scale Mining (ASM) sector,” he stressed.

He explained that the meeting was to afford Ghana the opportunity to reaffirm the parties’ willingness in setting up LBMA-certified refineries in Ghana.

“The meeting was to affirm Ghana’s engagement with LBMA from 2021 on steps to get some local gold refineries LBMA-certified and compete internationally.

“Today’s meeting centered on responsible sourcing of precious minerals across the world and how Ghana is meeting up to the challenge. UK-Ghanaian responsible mining organisation, Ansong Askew Limited also participated in this important meeting,” the Deputy Minister indicated.

Mr. Duker is in Paris to represent his boss, Samuel Abu Jinapor at the 2023 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.

Mr. Duker explained that traditional authorities, civil society organisations (CSOs), and the private sector can support governments in promoting responsible Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM), supporting state-sponsored buying schemes of domestic gold, and creating alternative livelihoods for illegal miners in resource-rich countries during a panel discussion.

The discussions were themed on “Exploring Domestic Drivers for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains; the Role of Traditional Authorities, CSOs, and the Private Sector.”

“I stated that Ghana government’s effort in the areas of establishment of community mining schemes, domestic gold buying programme, distribution of mercury-free gold processing equipment, reduction of export tax on ASM gold from 3% – 1.5%, while deepening engagements with traditional and local government authorities on supporting government’s efforts in developing the full potential of ASGM in Ghana,” he wrote.

Fanny Fremont, Executive Director of the Responsible Micah Initiative, chaired the panel discussion that included Dexter Ian Valerio of the Central Bank of the Philippines, Helene Helbig de Balzac of Datastake, and Desire Nikiema of the Alliance for Responsible Mining.

By Ernest Kofi Adu