Miners Mob Bawumia For ‘Inspiring’ Mining Policies

…As Panic Grips NDC Over Promise To Make “Millionaires” In Mining

The atmosphere at Akoon Club House in Tarkwa in the Western Region, was charged with joy, amidst wild jubilation by hundreds of small-scale miners, after flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, assured them of his policies that seek to protect and better their livelihoods.

He promised to make the small-scale miners “millionaires” because, rather than chasing them and seizing their equipment, he would support them by providing them with equipment to mine legally, if he wins the December 7 elections to become President.

It took security details of the Vice President to control the excited miners, who told The Anchor, after the gathering that, the policy measures were exactly what they have been yearning for from leaders of this country.

Describing the policies as “feasible and inspiring” the miners said, any initiative that seek to ensure Ghanaian ownership of the country’s mineral resources, they will support it to the fullest.

They indicated that, the prospect of Ghana’s small-scale mining sector, is bright and therefore, leaders of the country, should pay attention to it and priorities it.

The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, explained that, the policy his government will put in place, will improve their livelihoods and put money in their pockets, as mining concessions in the country, will be allocated to the small-scale miners.

Local millionaires

Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, who concluded his Western Region campaign tour, said mining concessions, would be allocated to small scale miners in the country to make them “millionaires”.

“We will allocate the mining concessions to the small-scale miners. My primary focus is to make many small-scale miners millionaire and multi-millionaires. I want to support our small-scale miners” he said.

He said, the small-scale mining sector, will be properly formalized and license will be given to miners by the regulatory agencies for peaceful operation without any harassment.

“We will formalize the small-scale mining regime and give them license. Everybody will register with the Small-Scale Miners Association with their Ghana card and we will deepen the representation of the Minerals Commission and the EPA, make sure that the districts that they are not there, we will open them” he assured.

Panic Grips NDC

But this promise by the NPP flagbearer, appears to have ruffled the feathers of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), forcing the party to push some elements parading themselves as executives of local miners to come out and discredit Dr Mahamadu Bawumia.

The Anchor is reliably informed that, a certain Michael Kojo Preprah, who is whopping from one radio station to another granting interviews in his capacity as President of the Association of Small-Scale Miners, is allegedly not even a member of the association.

Mr Preprah in a radio interview on Accra based Citi FM on Friday, May 3, 2024, claimed that Dr Bawumia’s promises, were political gimmick geared towards soliciting votes, adding members of the association were not convinced.

But details have emerged that, Michael Kojo Preprah, is not an executive of the miners, but rather an NDC sympathizer, who has been unleashed to discredit the NPP flagbearer’s message, following the rousing endorsement by miners across the country.

100% Ownership

Earlier, Dr Bawumia, also promised to put in place pragmatic natural resources governance approach to ensure full benefits from the country’s mineral reserves.

“Gold and other minerals have been shipped out of our country and many of those minerals come from the Western Region. But, when you come to this place, what is the development? There is vast wasteland,” he said.

He added: “We can use the mining resources to transform our country, and one of the major things I want to talk about in terms of a policy shift, is the management of our natural resources. We have natural resources, but we are not maximizing the benefits from natural resources.

He said ownership of Ghana’s mineral resources, should be 100 percent Ghanaian, stressing that the new paradigm should also target value addition.

Dr Bawumia, said this at a meeting with the Western Region House of Chiefs, as part of his campaign tour in the region.

“Ghana has seven gold belts, Axim to Lawra to Nangodi. According to the Geological Survey Authority, we have at least 5 billion ounces of gold yet to be explored. That’s about $10 trillion at today’s prices. We need change in the scope in the new paradigm,” he told the chiefs.

He said formalising small-scale mining and use of modern equipment for extraction of gold, while ensuring operators paid taxes, would be better “than smuggle all these gold out of Ghana.”

Dr Bawumia stated that the new policy would also focus on the creation of Minerals Development Bank, a major plank for “this new mining sector that we want to develop.”

The idea of formalising the small-scale mining sector and licensing, he argued, could not be successful without the participation of the chiefs, adding, that “we will have to make the necessary amendments to the Minerals and Mining Act,”

Further, the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be decentralised in the various districts to check contamination of water bodies.



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