The fourth West & Central Africa Mining Summit takes place in Accra from 25-27 September.

Topics up for discussion include regional mining regulations and tax information, the outlook on foreign investments from major players like China, as well as investment opportunities in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.

Participants will also be presented with the latest expert analysis on the extraction of raw minerals such as iron ore, gold, bauxite, limestone, manganese, phosphate and zircon, and rare-earth elements including lithium, tantalum and niobium.

With its mining industry accounting for five per cent of the country's GDP, after South Africa Ghana is the second largest producer of gold on the continent. It is also a major source of bauxite, manganese and diamonds. However the mining industry in Ghana is blighted by a poor safety record and widespread illegal mining.

In July floods caused by illegal mining swept through eight communities in the Eastern Province, 85km northwest of Accra, killing at least five people and displacing over 5,000 people. In June 2010 an illegal gold mine at Dunkwa-on-Offin, in central Ghana, collapsed after heavy rains, killing an estimated 70 miners.

In October 2009 an overflow of process solution containing sodium cyanide leaked from Newmont Ghana's open pit gold mine at Ahafo, in mid-western Ghana, leading to water contamination and mortality of fish. The Denver-based company accepted responsibility and paid the Ghanaian government nearly $5 million in compensation.