Mireku Duker promises value addition for gold
A DEPUTY Minister designate for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has underscored the need for Ghana to optimize its gold production.
Answering a question at the Appointments Committee of parliament on Monday, this week, the Tarkwa Nsuaem Legislator said Ghana’s gold is exported without any value addition.
He, however, told members of the committee that the Precious Mineral and Mining Company (PMMC) is collaborating with an India firm to establish a gold refinery in Ghana.
He added that if that refinery is finally established, Ghana could optimize it gold with value addition.
He also argued that when the refinery is eventually set up, Ghana should legislate to refine not less than 30% of gold in the country and to expand the local economy.
Defending the botched Agyapa deal, the Tarkwa Legislator asked the committee that ‘we have exported gold for over 200 years, what do we have to show?”
This, he explained, was the reason why the Agyapa deal was designed to take care of the anomalies.
The Tarkwa legislator also disagreed that his role as Board Chairman of the Minerals Investment and Income Fund (MIIF) could put him in a conflict of interest situation when he is approved as deputy Minister.
The nominee explained to the committee that the MIIF answers directly to the Ministry of Finance and not the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
Answering a question on the burning of excavators, George Mireku Duker, who was the only NPP legislator to win his seat in a mining constituency, said he did not see anything wrong with it. He added that extraordinary situations called for extraordinary measures.
He said considering the destruction being caused to our water bodies by illegal miners, Ghanaians should rather be concerned about stopping the menace and not burning of excavators. “If you are protecting the interest and heritage of this country, I believe we must get these excavators demobilised”.
On the 5million tree planting initiative launched by the Lands and Natural Resource Ministry, the Tarkwa Nsuaem Legislator, who showed excellence in his delivery and answers to questions posed to him, lauded the sector minister for the initiative.
On the land guard menace, George Mireku Duker said the issue must be tackled head on. He said, the double sale of lands has been a major problem which has led to the rise of land guards terrorizing people over lands.
He promised to collaborate with his sector Minister to ensure that the Lands Act 1036 is enforced by first educating the public about it.
The Legislator also urged Ghana’s Parliament to consider taking steps to ratify all mining concessions. The ratification, he said, should be approved before mining concessions are worked on.