Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has commended the immense contribution of mining companies to the growth and development of the country.
He said the mining industry is one of the key drivers of the economy, contributing to Gross Domestic Product, government tax revenue, export earnings and employment generation, among others.
The Minister said this in an address read on his behalf to stakeholders at the 5th edition of the Ghana Mining Industry Awards (GMIA) held to recognize, and celebrate outstanding achievements and excellence in the mining industry.
The event was held under the theme: "Honouring Commitment to Excellence in Ghana's Mining Industry."
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said the importance of excellence in an industry such as mining where diligence is the order of the day could not be overemphasised.
"For an industry that relies heavily on the expertise of people and the efficiency of technology, there is no room for compromise in our quest to reach the heights of sustainable and responsible mining," he said.
The government is also not relenting on its agenda to use mining as a catalyst for the industrial transformation of the country with key policies focused on resourced-based industrialization, value addition, local content, linkages developments, and also mining community development schemes in collaboration with the Minerals Development Fund, among others.
Government intends to make conscious efforts to integrate the mining industry with the rest of the local economy, thus making it possible for Ghanaian entrepreneurs to increase their participation in the mining industry, especialiy in the area of providing goods and services, Mr Asomah-Cheremeh added.
On his part, Mr Sulemanu Koney, the the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said the mining industry continues to contribute to the country's socio-economic development.
The fiscal revenue, forex receipts and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) are still unmatched by any other economic sector in the country, he said.
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister of Business Development, and the Guest Speaker, appealed to the players in the mining industry to set up a GHC50 million Entrepreneurship Fund to help reduce unemployment in the country.
Asanko Gold Ghana Limited (AGGL), jointly-owned by Asanko and Gold Fields, was adjudged the mining company of the year 2019 for the second time in a row.
Asanko Gold Ghana, a leading gold mine company operating in the country outshone key competitions to pick the top award. It first won the same award in 2018.
Additionally, the mining company won two awards namely Best Performer in Exploration and first runner-up in Innovation categories in the night.
Other awards went to Mr Alfred Baku, Executive Vice Presiden & Head of West Africa Region Gold Fields as mining personality of the year, and Newmont Goldcorp Akyem Mine won the best performer in environmental management.