Chief Executive officer of the Minerals Commission, Kwaku Addae Antwi-Boasiako has bemoaned the fact that Ghana and for that matter Africa has failed to harness its mineral resource endowment for it socio-economic development, and as a result remains poor despite its significant mineral resource.
Speaking at the 5th UMaT biennial international mining and mineral conference at Tarkwa in the Western region, he stated that the continent will remain at the mercy of commodity prices until it applies technology, innovation and creativity.
“2016 report by SNL Metal and mining shows Africa is leading when it comes to the value of in situ gold. Using the combined value of reserves and resources reported by explorers and mining companies active on the continent, SNL calculated a figure of US$1.5 trillion for primary gold projects in Africa. Canada and the united states came in with gold in situ values of $1.26 trillion.
“ despite these significant mineral resources, the continent will remain at the mercy of commodity prices and trade flows until it undertakes a profound structural transformation anchored on appropriate technology, innovation and creativity” he stated.
Mr. Kwaku Addae Antwi-Boasiako further proposed the use of innovations such as robots, and battery-powered underground loaders in the mining sector to reduce cost of mining in the country.
“If a mining job is repetitive, physical and requires minimum training, it’s likely the position could be filled by robots. This is a fact. According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers [PwC] on the effect of automation on UK workforce, 23% of jobs will become redundant by 2030 as advances in robotics gain greater industry penetration”.
The 4 day Conference, held under the theme “Innovations in mining and mineral processing: expanding the frontiers of mining technology”, with delegates from all over the world, is part of the vision of the university to internationalize its research outputs.
The delegates will be engaging in discussions that would help advance the frontiers of technology in the mining sector.
Vice chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology, Professor Jerry Samuel Yao Kuma said the future of today’s world belongs to economies that take technology and innovations seriously in their developmental efforts.
“Without doubt, the future of today’s world belongs to economies that take technology and innovation seriously in their developmental efforts. We cannot be (an) exception as we work towards a country that wants to achieve an industrialized economy without aid”, he said.