Community Mining Produces 85,800 Jobs
In spite of calls to ban small-scale mining ,official figures released by government show that 85,800jobs haveso far been created through the Community Mining Scheme (CMS), which was introduced lastyear and aimed at enabling locals to participate in the thriving industry.
Out of the number, 62,000 were direct and 23,800 indirect jobs from 16 legally registered CMSs and 98concessions across the country, covering a land area of 2,299.94 acres.
This was revealed by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources during an engagement with editors of some key media houses on Tuesday, November 29, in Accra, to sensitize the media on measures by government to regularize the small-scale mining sector.
According to Mr. George Mireku Duker,the small-scale mining sector contributes significantly to the country’s economy and has employed more than one million Ghanaians and therefore requires all hands-on deck to regulate it.
The Deputy Minister, who is in-charge of Mines, at the ministry, mentioned that Ghana’s small-scale mining industry alone givesan average of about 40 percent of the total gold produced in the countryand it only required proper regulation against all forms of illegal activities that pollute the country’s river bodies, among others.
He noted that, the fight against the illegal mining menace is a herculean task, but government is making all the necessary efforts to win and will welcome inputs and expert views from the media on how to effectively halt it and communicate the strides being made in this regard.
Mr. Duker, in a detailed PowerPoint presentation, touted the whole gamut of measures government has put in place to curb the menace, which among others includes Operation Halt II, the training of river guards, and the inauguration of District Mining Committees across mining areas.
Touching on government’s procurement of speed boats to patrol the river bodies, he stressed said, “We are not just doing a talk shop here, we are on the ground and the whole mentality is to get our river bodies cleaned.”
He indicated that, in furtherance of effectively implementing government’s policies and strategies in ensuring responsible and sustainable mining at the districts, the ministry is actively rejuvenating the small-scale mining committees as enshrined by Section 92 of the Minerals & Mining Act 2006, (Act 703).
Responding to issues regarding the mining equipment that was confiscated, the Deputy Minister said the such equipment has been handed over to the Ghana Police Service, and that details about the seized excavators will be made available to the media in due course.
The Deputy Minister also took the editors to the Minerals Commission’s situational room, where modern technological gadgets and software have been installed for the tracking of all earth-moving equipment that may be moved out of their concessions.
The situational room, due to be commissioned this December, forms part of the measures by the government to fight the illegal mining activity, popularly called ‘Galamsey.’
The Community Mining Schemewas originally mooted in 2017, as a major initiative in the management of small-scale mining to, among others, provide a livelihood for members in mining communities, promote sustainable and responsible mining and prevent illegal mining.