Obuasi, March 24, GNA - Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has applauded AngloGold Ashanti for adhering to the local content policy of the mining sector in its operations.
The Minister, who paid a working visit to the Obuasi Mine on Wednesday, said he was impressed about the company's commitment to engaging most of its labour force locally.
Only 24 out of 935 workers directly employed by the company are expatriates, with 53 per cent of the number recruited from host communities.
That, Mr Jinapor said, was laudable because local content was a major issue in the industry and that he intended to pay particular attention to it.
"The resources, which have been given to Ghanaians by God, should be of benefit to investors but should also be of tremendous benefit to Ghanaians and so the involvement of Ghanaians and Ghanaian companies is extremely important,” he said.
Mr Jinapor said the vision of the President for the mining sector was to build a viable, sustainable and environmentally prudent mining industry both on the small and large scale levels.
The industry, he said, must be a tool for national development and not an inhibiting factor to the progress of the nation.
Mr Jinapor commended AngloGold Ashanti for the tremendous work in land reclamation, and said it was the way to go to protect the environment for posterity.
Mr Eric Asubonteng, the Managing Director of Anglogold Ashanti, who briefed the Minister ahead of the inspection, said Obuasi based businesses had been given preference for minor contracts such as catering, laundry and housing refurbishments.
He said 99.5 per cent of the 3,830 workers employed by contractors of the company were Ghanaians with only 20 being foreigners.
The Minister was at the mine to have first-hand information on its operational challenges and how best to work as a team for the mutual benefit of the state and company.