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The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has revealed it is yet to have standards for the local production and monitoring of Grinding Media in Ghana. Some mechanisms have however been put in place to ensure that within the shortest practicable time frame the standards are ready.
A senior member of the GSA, Charles Amoako, who represented the Chief Executive of the Authority, Prof. Alex Dodoo at a day’s workshop in Tema on Tuesday organized by the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) for stakeholders in the sector, revealed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Chamber and the Authority have been signed at top management level to this effect.
Grinding media are objects used to refine material and reduce particle size through crashing and grinding. It is basically particle size reduction equipment used to thoroughly grind all materials; a heavy metal used for crushing or grinding materials into powder form like cement, mineral, silicates, refractory material, fertilizer, glass ceramics, among others, usually in a mill.
“Ghana does not have standards for this grinding media as at now. There are other available international standards that are obtained from the market. Presently, we have signed an MoU with the Chamber of Mines and these are some of the activities that we want to put under the agreement. We need to as a matter of urgency have all these standards that affects your industry in place as soon as practicable,” Amoako stated in a presentation.
He noted that the Authority would be counting on the expertise of the participants since they have the experience that can guard in formulating standards that would last the test of time.
The workshop was to afford the stakeholders the opportunity to deliberate on ways of improving the procurement of locally manufactured grinding media for the mining industry in Ghana, among others.
Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Suleiman Koney, said his outfit is aware of the potentials that the mining industry provide beyond the payment of substantial money to the government. He revealed that within the last six years, except for 2014, the Ghana Revenue Authority had reported the mining industry as the leading contributor to domestic and tax collections.
“For instance, in 2017 the mining industry paid GHS2.16 billion to the GRA representing 16.3% of domestic tax revenue, an increase of 31% in what the Authority mobilized in 2016,” he stated.
According to Koney, “these metrics underscore the need for the Chamber and its partners – Minerals Commission, Ministry of Lands and Natural resources, Association of Ghana Industries and Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure that we deepen the integration of the mining industry with the non-mineral economy through the harnessing of its linkage opportunities. In a sense this is in line with government’s desire to change the structure of the economy through expanding manufacturing, fabrication and other such endeavours”.
He said following a similar workshop organized by the GCM on heavy duty electric cables supplied to the mining industry, procurement of locally produced heavy duty electric cables by mining companies have gone up from $172,698.22 in 2014 to $488,999.66 in 2015, an improvement of $316,301.44 in 2016 representing an increase of 183%.
“Statistics from the Minerals Commission indicate that of the $60.6 million worth of grinding media demanded by the mining industry in 2016, only $25.6 million was produced locally. This therefore means that the mining industry provides a manufacturing opportunity of $35 million worth of grinding media to be produced locally.
He said to deepen this performance further, the Chamber is proceeding to set up a technical team to harmonize various specifications to arrive at national standards for heavy duty electric cables, stating that “we envisage a similar tract for grinding media”.
Standards are a critical tool for effective marketing. At least it gives consumers emotional assurance that the product is fit for purpose. Mining companies have good reason to support the procurement of locally manufactured inputs. Whilst these may not be altruistic, the business case is paramount.
Key objective of this workshop
Mr. Koney said “having reputable companies manufacturing and supplying good quality inputs will give the mining companies the necessary peace of mind. It will obviate the need for them to keep stock, thereby improving their cashflow and reducing their working capital. As an industry, which is essentially a price taker, ie. an output whose price a commodity – such – as gold – whose price is externally determined, any endeavour to improve efficiency, productivity and costs will come handy. However, the challenges of poor or inconsistent quality, delays in delivery of inputs produced locally are banes which needs to be addressed. This is a key objective of this workshop.
“The Chamber is committed to collaborating with various parties to deepen the integration of the mining industry into the non-mineral economy because we believe that, it is a sure way of expanding value beyond the payment of rent to the country,” he stated