The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has charged the Ghana Chamber of Mines to take up a lead role in the fight against illegal mining even as the government takes all the necessary measures to come to grips with this menace.

He said apart from its negative environmental impacts, illegal mining, also affects their operations and indeed, their employees.

"The occasional clashes between illegal miners and your employees will be a thing of the past if we join hands together to deal with illegal mining and develop our mining communities."

He also called on the Chamber to join hands with the government and the Ministry to build a viable and sustainable mining industry that will go a long way to benefit the Ghanaian people.

The Minister made this call when he joined the Ghana Chamber of Mines in Obuasi on Wednesday, October 19 to give the keynote address at their 5th Human Resource Conference on the theme; "Transforming People Management for a Sustainable Mining Industry in Ghana".

The Minister in his address applauded the efforts of the Chamber since its establishment on June 6, 1928 saying "the Ghana Chamber of Mines has continued to play a critical role in the exploitation and management of our natural resources, and this Conference, which brings together Human Resource professionals to deliberate on issues of human capital within the mining industry, is yet another testament of your commitment to efficient exploitation of our natural resources."

He added that government considers the Chamber of Mines as a true partner and intends to continue to collaborate closely with it, in moving the all-important mining industry forward.

Addressing the Managers, the Lands Minister said despite the unprecedented developments in science and technology, which are revolutionising the way people live and work, "human capital remains crucial to the success of every industry" and therefore the need for Human Resources Professionals to attract and retain new talent to meet the industry’s future demands.

The Minister asserted that building a sustainable mining industry requires that managers incorporate into every aspect of the industry, Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Principles, which have become the basic standards, globally, for regulating and evaluating institutional performance based on environmental responsibility, social welfare and economic growth.

He opined that motivation, fair treatment, and better remuneration are important for the mining workforce in the industry, which is particularly associated with many risks. These incentives, he said are required for the employees to give out their best at all times.

Mr. Samuel Jinapor said this agenda can only be achieved when Human Resource Departments work closely with workers’ unions to build consensus and strive towards organisational objectives.

He highly commended the Ghana Chamber of Mines for instituting the Best Mine in Diversity and Inclusion award, as part of the Ghana Mining Industry Awards. This he said demonstrates the Chamber’s understanding of the need for diversity and inclusion in the workforce of the mining industry.

The Managing Director for Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine and Chairman at the event, Dr. Eric Asubonteng in his address said if Ghana can achieve the targeted aim of becoming the Mining Hub of Africa, then stakeholders must take deliberate steps to beef up the workforce.

"In the Ghana Mining industry, if we are truly going to realise the vision we have set for ourselves to make Ghana the Mining hub of West Africa and Africa as a whole, then we must be deliberate about nurturing the workforce skilled in the required practical and modern mining methods."

He tabled a number of challenges the Mine has faced since the last Human Resource Conference noting that, to address these challenges, all stakeholders need to be proactive in strategies.

Dr. Asubonteng said their vision as a Mine is to be a safe and viable tier one assert that is at peace with its stakeholders, adding that this vision cannot be realised without the right human resource management wing.

He also assured that their organisation remains focused on "turning this world-class ore body into a world-class value."

"Human Resource managers must therefore intensify efforts to transform the industry through comprehensive people-management practices and finding innovative ways to boost the effectiveness and efficiency of our people."

Appreciating the need and importance of the Conference, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney said there is a need for Human Resource Managers to constantly update themselves to do better at their jobs and meet up with the competition and world standards.

He touted a number of initiatives the Chamber has embarked on to support human capital development in the mining sector mentioning an $804,000 research grant presented to the University of Mines and Technology as an example.

He gave an assurance that the Chamber will continue to support the industry with innovative and relevant training modules that will help train and develop a pipeline of talents and skills for the industry and for Ghana as a whole.

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