Minister Charges Miners To Observe Responsible Mining
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines has charged workers of a newly- commissioned Community Mining Scheme (CMS) to follow necessary guidelines and safety measures to ensure responsible and sustainable mining.
Speaking at a ceremony yesterday, Wednesday, April 5, 2023, to commission the Afransie Community Mining in the WassaAmenfi East Municipality in Western Region, George Mireku Duker said management must guarantee the company operates within the license issued them by the regulator.
“You must mine within the dictates of the licenses issued by the Minerals Commission. It shouldn’t be the usual galamsey. Since this place is an alluvial concession, you must put in place measures for reclamation of every portion of land you will dig. Reclamation is a priority that must traditionally be followed,” he said.
The responsible mining measures, according to the deputy minister, includes the reclamation of lands and complete avoidance of mercury in the course of their operations.
According to him, “Government has recognized that the mercury is poisonous and harmful to the environment so we have mercury-free machines that will help you mine the gold. The mercury-free machine will help you discover 90% of gold in the ore compare to the mercury chemical that has an efficiency rate of 40%.”
The deputy minister explained these measures form part of the quest by the government to sanitize the small-scale mining sector.
While denying reports of government seeking to collapse the small-scale mining sector, Mr. Duker restated that the policies and measures are meant to increase revenue and employment in the small-scale mining sector.
He charged all persons engaged in illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, to desist, since it is destructive and a threat to the country’s forest reserves and water bodies.
Accompanied by the Western Regional Minister, Kwadwo Okyere Darko Mensah, and some traditional rulers, Mr. Duker noted that the Community Mining Scheme will create sustainable and profitable jobs for the residents,and urged that the waterbodies in the area must be protected.
To discourage the miners from going against the rules, the deputy minister, on behalf of government, presented a mercury-free machine to the operators to assist in processing the gold.
The Western Regional Minister, on his part,said that gold is a top revenue earner for the government and that the government is determined to develop the sector further.
He added that many cities and countries around the world were built on revenue from gold mining and that the community could benefit from the concession if they act in accordance with the law.
In view of this, Mr. OkyereDarko said the CMS is a further proof of the commitment of the Akufo-Addo administration to the mining sector.
The Wassa-Afransie Community Mining Scheme has become the 18th being launched, since thestart of the initiative in 2021.It is expected to create 7,000 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect job opportunities.