The West African Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (WAIMM), a professional non-governmental organization has held its 1 Annual stakeholder Conference and Inauguration here in Accra.

Speaking during the Conference which was under the theme  ‘Setting the Standards for the Future – The Role of the Natural Resources Professional’, Lawrence Omari-Mensah, President & Executive Secretary of WAIMM, said, ''the Mineral and Petroleum Industry of Africa is one of the largest in the world, and West Africa is gradually becoming the hub of Mining and Petroleum Industry in Africa ; Interestingly, Minerals, Oil and Gas exploration and subsequent exploitation remain key to the development of most countries in West Africa”.

Delivering his opening address, Dr. Toni Aubynn, CEO of the Minerals Commission of Ghana said, “The mining age is a critical stage of an industrial revolution and we must not destroy when we mine '’.  He went further to state that, perhaps we need to adopt the concept of optimization and maximization.

Dr. Aubynn expressed the need to move away from ounces and bullions saying, “We need to have effective use of Talent”.  He subsequently argued for the state to influence the cost of operations of miners, emphasizing, that it is important and crucial.

On exploration, the CEO of the Minerals Commission of Ghana stated that, stakeholders must look critically at the cost of producing and exploration adding that Small Scale mining has been the Bane in the industry.

The cost of illegal mining is a shared responsibility. He was of the view that Ghana should reclassify Small Scale Mining more to Medium Scale.

Finally, he hinted that, soon there will be the Digitization of Mining Licenses. This is when Small Scale Miners can apply for mining licenses on the internet and monitor the status of the application online without travelling all the way to the capital (Accra).

He advised politicians to be bold and condemn activities of galamsey operators, and desist from supporting such operations despite being in an election year.

Story by Malise Otoo