Ghana: New legislation proposes corporate social responsibility spending becomes compulsory for all mining firms
Author: Ghana Web, Published on: 24 February 2020
‘New mining bill tightens regulatory framework’ 19 February 2020
The impending new mining law, which will replace Act 730, in place since 2006, will see major tightening of the regulatory framework within which both exploration and producing firms operate. The Minerals Commission has already completed its proposed amendments, most of which have been endorsed by stakeholder civil society organizations led by the British government funded Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). The proposals will now be formally presented to the Ghana Chamber of Mines – which will certainly protest many of the key changes – before being considered by cabinet and deliberated on by Parliament after which the bill will be passed into law.
While some of the proposed changes merely seek to keep up with new trends and the objectives of government – such as affirmative action towards bringing more women into the industry, others propose fundamental changes in the mining firms obligations to government and to host communities, which will translate into more benefits to both at the expense of the mining firms, and this is where the mining firms themselves can be expected to desperately seek to have them removed from the final law.
Perhaps the biggest change is the one whereby corporate social responsibility spending by mining producers will become compulsory rather than voluntary as obtains currently. Section 42(3) of the draft law contains a brand new provision which states: “A holder of a mining lease shall sign a community development agreement (CDA) with the communities that may be impacted by mining operations of the holder within six months after the grant of a mining lease in a manner as prescribed in regulations.”