The Ministry of Trade and Industry is calling on South African gold mining companies in Ghana to partner locals and start investing heavily in the gold refinery industry.

“We can’t be digging the gold and taking it out whether by galamsey method or by any other method in perpetuity”, the minister of trade and industry Dr.Ekow Spio Garbrah charged.

AngloGold Ashanti's two Ghanaian mines, Obuasi and Iduapriem, produced 512000 ounces of gold in 2011, while Gold Fields' Tarkwa mine produced 717000 ounces of gold in the same year.

According to Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah ,” (the jewelry industry) this is one area where South African companies owe us(Ghana) a lot.”

“After all these years we’ve just been exporting raw gold, sometimes a little bit of refinement but we all know that the final destination of gold for most uses is jewelry and South Africa is has a very wonderful gold refinery industry and jewelry making industry” , he stated.

The Minister of trade Dr.Ekow Spio Garbrah said the South African companies should collectively work with Ghanaian partners to move up to the next level of jewelry making,” it’s critical, it’s important”.

“The process of adding value to gold or converting from gold to jewelry is not that technological difficult, at least not as difficult as the original mining process itself”, he challenged players in the mining sector.