Goldsmiths in the Ashanti region are complaining of the inaccessibility to raw materials in manufacturing jewelry products.
The Goldsmiths are blaming proliferation of Asian companies especially Chinese nationals engaged in ‘Galamsey’ operations for taking over their businesses.
The Public Relations Officer of Association of Ashanti regional Goldsmiths and Jewellers Richard Prah is worried that the Chinese and Asian nationals purchase the raw materials and export to their countries to the disadvantage of local manufacturers.
He explained that due to the operations of these Chinese Galamsey operators which is on the rise, the prices of raw materials in manufacturing the jewelry have suddenly shot up.
Mr. Prah indicated that Goldsmiths are unable to purchase due to this development caused by the Chinese Galamsey operators.
He added that local sellers prefer dealing with the Chinese Galamsey operators who are able to offer juicy prices compared to indigenous companies, observing that water bodies have been polluted due to nefarious activities by these Chinese and therefore want government and policy makers to drive them out of the country.
He urged government to support the industry by making institutions such as Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) as point of sale of raw gold to licensed Goldsmiths.
This, he believes will enable Goldsmiths access raw materials which will boost the local industry which is fighting to compete on the international market.
‘History has it that there was an arrangement with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to make portion of their Gold stock available to licensed Goldsmiths. We the association wants government to look into this,’ he suggested.
The Public Relations Officer of Association of Ashanti regional Goldsmiths and Jewellers advised the youth to go into the jewelry business.