Ministers in charge of Minerals Development in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday adopted a draft Regional Mining Act to regulate mining operations in the sub-region.

The draft document adopted at the end of a two-day summit in Accra, upon approval by ECOWAS Parliament, would regulate issuance of permits, mineral rights, licenses, set out institutional structures, local content regulations and environmental and social impact assessment.

Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asoma-Cheremeh, who chaired the closing ceremony, said the document may be used, among other things, to protect member states from exploitation from foreign investors.

He said it would enable potential mining investors understand that the sub-region was being guided by a common mineral resource rules and regulations, which would help increase revenue, open up youth employment opportunities and help develop mineral-rich resource countries.

He cited South Africa as a classic example as one of the countries in Africa that had developed her infrastructure with mineral resources.

“This Capital flight must stop and member states must help themselves and the future generation,” Mr Asoma-Cheremeh said.

The draft document would be presented to the ECOWAS Parliament soon and subsequently forwarded to the Council of Ministers including the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs.

Source: GNA