Date: April 1, 2009, 4:20 pm


The National Coalition On Mining (NCOM) has described the theme of the of the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Chamber of Mines, Life is impossible without mining as intellectually dishonest and mischievous and calculated to sweep the negative environmental, human rights and economic legacies under the carpet. According to them, the Chamber has sought to project the mining industry as an industry going beyond the call of its duty in its contribution to community livelihood, the environment and the national economy as a whole. In a press release by NCOM, the Chamber has not been consistent with community and social economic organization. Corporate mining as advocated by the chamber does not encourage competing interest around mining.

 For instance, thousands of small scale miners, most of whom lost their farmlands to corporate commercial mining, have been displaced by the Chambers construction of mining. NCOM argues that despite the long history of mining the Ghanaian state has benefited only marginally from mining. The fact that not only the local communities and the NGOS but also the multinational institutions like the World Bank, IMF, UNCTAD and UNECA argue that mining has not contributed enough to government revenue and national development bears credence to that fact that Ghana has only benefited marginally from the mining.

 In the mean time, environmental, human rights and social problems are on the increase with the introduction of new and improved technologies of mining. The NCOM states that under 80 years of management of the Chamber of Mines, there have been; Massive destruction of the environment by mining companies; Excessive deprivation of the national economy and citizens from accessing the full benefits of mineral resources; Indiscriminate dislocation and displacement of local communities from their land, water resources and cultural heritage; and Increased violence and human rights abuses of people living in communities affected by mining as well as small-scale miners. The release, according to NCOM, was necessitated by the fact that the Chamber of Mines has been undertaking tis kind of propaganda for eighty years and needs a counter with the truth. The NCOM has also called for an end to the destruction of the environment and all such propaganda that is destructive to the productive capacity of the national economy.

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