Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has said the government is ready to collaborate with the board and management of Rand Refinery to help Ghana obtain London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) certification.
Underlining the importance of the LBMA certificate to the government’s plan to develop the mineral industry and make Ghana a big player in refining mineral resources, Dr Bawumia said attaining the certification will propel the country to participate and exploit fully the benefits in the mineral value chain.
He said the gamut of experience and expertise that comes with certification makes Rand Refinery a strategic and beneficial partner to Ghana and that partnering with the company will help Ghana evade the blunders other countries committed on their journey to creating refinery hubs in their mining sector, “because you have a very long history in this area”.
The meeting was to deliberate on ways of actualising the government’s agenda to make Ghana a hub for processing and refining mineral resources and, in particular, obtaining LBMA certification for this country.
The chairman of Rand Refinery, Rams Ramashira, told reporters that his company has held positive preliminary talks with the ministry and other leading stakeholders.
He said the chief executive of Rand Refinery is a member of the LBMA board and “we are very happy to be of assistance and share some experiences and strike some alliances, and hope the meeting with key stakeholders will help develop something concrete for the two parties”.
Earlier on Monday, Jinapor received the visiting Rand Refinery delegation at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
He said his invitation to the Rand Refinery delegation was to enable the team to hold discussions and share ideas on how to move forward with the partnership between the parties.
He advocated an intelligent and effective collaboration between the Government of Ghana and the LBMA to ensure that the certification process is completed successfully.
The minister took the team through the itinerary for their visit and hoped that it would be a fruitful one for them, as they would have the opportunity to meet the vice-president, Dr Bawumia, the minister said, has been very passionate about leveraging the gold industry and the gold value chain in Ghana to support the national economy.
“The idea is that this visit is productive and substantive and that it gives us the opportunity to delve into the concrete issues with concrete outcomes,” Jinapoe said.
The sector minister thanked the team for their hospitality during his last visit to the Rand Refinery in South Africa and said the tour of the Rand site had been very enlightening and educative.
He hoped that at the end of all their meetings and discussions the ministry would have gained sufficient mentorship from Rand Refinery.
“We should be able to find a workable platform to engage cause,” he said, “as I believe all of us acknowledge that your refinery tends to be the leader when it comes to the business of gold refinery in Africa. And, therefore, whatever we seek to do here in Ghana, our idea is to get sufficient mentorship from your outfit.”
The minister said that it is his desire that Rand Refinery as much as is possible will be able to establish a branch in Ghana, perhaps through a partnership with an existing operation in Ghana.
The chief executive officer of Rand Refinery, Praveen Baijnath, said the Rand team was excited and very expectant about the opportunity to partner with Ghana in the event of establishing a refinery here.
The team’s general objective on this trip, he said, is to meet all stakeholders involved in the gold value chain to understand better the government’s expectations and consider how best the company can unlock available assets to mesh on that level.
“Our general strategic objective is to collect as much intelligence and data as possible to build a business case and see how we can develop it,” he said.
Also with the minister were the deputy minister in charge of mines in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, the chief executive of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi, the advisor on mines to the Minister, Ben Aryee, the managing director of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), Nana Akwasi Awuah, and other officials from the ministry.