The establishment of a community mine at Adukrom, in the Ahafo Ano South-East district of the Ashanti Region is expected to offer jobs to some 7,000 people in the community.
The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. George Mireku Ducker, said in addition to this, some of the community people would also be employed in the value chain of the mining sector.
‘Community mining, besides employing local people, is community-owned in that the concession belongs to the community, and the proceeds would be used for the development of the community,’ Mr. Mireku Duker observed.
Mr. Duker, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Adukrom Community Mine, however, cautioned community miners to keep their sites neat and to adhere to all mining safety protocols or risk losing their concessions.
He said there was no difference between community mining or small-scale mining and large-scale mining when safety protocols are concerned. In view of this, he said all safety and sanitation measures should be adopted and the site run as a business.
Except for the size, he said community and large-scale mining should be run as a formal business. “The only difference between large-scale mining concession and small-scale mining concession is size. Every good thing that is done on a large-scale concession should be replicated here.
“And if in two months we come back and you don’t have all these things in place, you can be closed down,” he warned.
The Community Mining Scheme is an initiative meant to encourage responsible small-scale mining, in line with the Minerals and Mining Law, 2015, Act 703, in communities across the country.
In view of the wanton pollution caused by illegal mining activities, the scheme is deemed as one of the key measures instituted to deal with the menace of galamsey.
It is among others also expected to boost the rural economy, help rural infrastructure development, and improve livelihoods, through shared wealth, while enabling Ghanaians to develop the capacity to eventually take over the operations of the minerals sector.
The Deputy Minister said the government acknowledge the contribution of the small-scale mining sector to the development of the country. He added that is for this reason, that the government decided to make it community-based for the entire community to enjoy the benefits.
He noted that technical officers from the Minerals Commission would be assisting the community miners with technical support while the government also provide them with the mining equipment to ensure that the site was mined sustainably and responsibly.
The District Chief Executive of Ahafo Ano South East, Mr. Joseph Agyeman Dapaah, expressed gratitude to Messrs Cardinal Resources Ghana Limited for accepting to cede part of their concession to the district for community mining.
He appealed to other large mining companies in the country who have acquired large tracts of land that would not be used in the nearest future to cede part for the community mining.
Mr. Dapaah said, in so doing, they would be helping to reduce the incident of illegal mining as the youth would not be forced to hide and ‘steal’ concessions that did not belong to them to mine.
In a related development, the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry deployed river guards to patrol polluted water bodies in its bid to restore water bodies that have been polluted by activities of illegal miners in parts of the country.
The Ministry is also integrating licensed small-scale miners to rid the sector of illegal mining activities as part of efforts to sanitize the industry.
The Deputy Minister, at the inauguration of an ‘Anti-Galamsey taskforce’ by the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners, in Kumasi, warned that the government would be tougher on illegal miners.