The expansion of the community mining scheme introduced by the government is expected to resolve the incidences of illegal small-scale mining activities in the country, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has said.
This approach, he said, will ensure the use of safe mining operations, environmental protection as well as the reclamation of the lands after mining operations.
In view of this, the Minister said his Ministry is working with all the relevant agencies including the Minerals Commission to expand the scheme. It is hoped that this will also create employment avenues for the youth of the country who are interested in mining.
Mr. Jinapor, who was speaking in an interview at Adomanu, at the back of a two-day working visit to the Ashanti Region, said “it is evident that the way forward to resolving the issue of illegal small-scale mining is community mining.
“Between my office and the minerals commission, we are going to make sure that we expand community mining in Ghana to protect the environment and also to offer more employment to the youth,” he said.
The Minister who visited some small-scale mining sites to observe their operations, including the Adansi North community mining site, said “we are insisting that mining should be done in a regulated manner to help protect the environment just like what is being done at this site. We as a government have no space for illegal mining.”
He cautioned that illegal mining will not be countenanced by the Akufo-Addo led administration.
At Adomanu, the Minister, however, expressed his dissatisfaction with the safety measures at one of the mining sites.
The miners were operating in smaller pits without regard to safety measures, as at the time of visit. He directed the Minerals Commission to ensure that the activities of the miners are duly regulated to save lives.
“I’m not particularly excited with this style of mining here because the safety measures are not up to scratch.”
In a related development, the Minister who visited AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine expressed satisfaction with the commitments made by the Mine over the period. “He particularly acknowledged the adherence to local content.
He said the development is very welcoming because that’s a major issue in the industry and it is a matter which he intends to pay particular attention to.
“This is because the resource which has been given to the Ghanaian people by God should be of benefit to investors but it also should be of tremendous benefit to the Ghanaian people.” It is on the basis of this that he acknowledged that the involvement of local companies in the work of the mining companies is of extreme importance.
He, therefore, lauded AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine for their commitment to local content, environmental protection among others.