2,000 Jobs Open at Amansie South
…As Atwimanso Community Mining Takes Off
About 2,000 residents are expected to get direct jobs, following the official launch of the government’s innovative Community Mining Scheme (CMS) at Atwimanso in the Amansie South District in the Ashanti Region.
The scheme, which is the first to be commissioned in the district on Thursday, June 22, 2023,was welcomed by the chiefs and people of the community, who thronged the venue to throw their support, amid excitement.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, who commissioned the project on behalf of government, said the establishment of the scheme is to create job opportunities for the youth in the community.
He told the gathering that, in his constituency alone in Tarkwa-Nsuaem, in the Western Region, the scheme established there has employed about 5,000 workers, as he insists government is keen on fighting to end illegal mining, otherwise called “galamsey.”
“In my constituency, one community mining that we have is taking on board about 5,000 (people). With this at Atwemanso, we are earmarking 2,000 job opportunities for the youth,” he added.
The deputy minister also rejected claims from certain quarters that the community mining did not receive the full support of the public.
According to him, the scheme, which is a community-centred mining module that promotes local participation in responsible harnessing of Ghana’s mineral resources, has so far been a success, as those in mining communities have taken keen interest in it and benefiting from jobs.
While commending the large-scale mining companies that accepted to cede parts of their concession for the Atwimanso Community Mining Scheme, Mr. Duker reiterated government’s decision not to ban small-scale mining operations in the country, pointing out that contributions from small-scale mining has contributed to Ghana regaining its position as Africa’s biggest gold producer.
The sector, he indicated, has been established to have employed 1million people directly.
He indicated that “the initiative is one of the surest ways for government to actualize its goal of raising local champions in the mining industry.”
The deputy minister urged management of the Atwimanso Community Mining to adhere strictly to the laws governing the establishment of the CMS and warned that government, through the Minerals Commission, will not hesitate to withdraw the operational license and prosecute officials and staff who are found to have acted in contravention of the law.
He emphasized that the Atwimanso Community Mining is the only official scheme being launched in the community and warned them against operating any one that has not been sanctioned by the ministry.
Mr. Duker also called on the management of the Community Mining Scheme to contribute towards the development of the area by making contributions for reshaping of roads and schools, among others.
He announced that government will continue to set up more community mining schemes at areas which are suitable for small-scale mining.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Manso Adubea, Yaw Frimpong, who doubles as the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, commended the Lands minister, the ministry and the traditional authorities in the area on the establishment of the project in the community.
He urged the youth to capitalize on the scheme to create income for themselves, and indulged managers of the scheme to mine responsibly and sustainably.
The District Chief Executive(DCE) of the area, Mr. Clement Opoku Gyamfi, warned the residents against taking advantage of the CMS to undertake illegal mining.
He was also grateful to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for heeding their call for the establishment of scheme in the area.
On their part, the chiefs and elders of Atwimanso pledged their support towards the success of the scheme, as they expressed gratitude for the implementation of the policy in their traditional area.
The deputy minister was accompanied on the trip by the Deputy CEO of the Minerals Commission in charge of Mining and Industrial Minerals, Mr. Samuel Tika; Deputy CEO Minerals Commission in charge of Local Content and Policy Planning, Madam Shirley Kyei; the Managing Director, PMMC, Lawyer Akwasi Awuah; Deputy Coordinator, NAELP, Mr. Benedict Addae, and other officers from the ministry and the Minerals Commission.