The Municipal Chief Executive, MCE for Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, Hon Gilbert Ken Asmah has reiterated the commitment of Government to creating a secure and safe mining environment for Ghanaians.
Mining activities has become an integral part of our economic activities since time immemorial, and as government we are poised to offer all the necessary support in your activities when operationalization of the mine site begins. ” Small Scale Mining in Ghana is the sole preserve of the good people of Ghana eighteen(18) years and above. We shall ensure that we mine in a more decent and responsible manner”.
The Tarkwa-Nsuaem MCE disclosed this when he was addressing participants at a one day intensive workshop organised by the Center for Environmental Impact, CEI for small scale mining operators within the Municipality. He observed that the workshop will among other things expose participants to a mercury free technologies in the mining activities. The move, he noted was part of the Nana-Akufo Addo NPP led government’s plans to elevate the operations of small scale mining to an international standard, he noted.
“As we round up as part of government’s road map towards the lifting of the ban agenda, I wish to notify government that we have witnessed the successful training of mining operators at the University of Mines and Technology, UMaT under the auspices of Ministry of Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation; the training was specifically on best mining practices and the handling of cyanide, mercury(why Ghana signed the Minamata Convention) and other chemicals in the mining industry all in anticipation for the lifting of the ban on small scale mining.
My team and I have consistently visited and monitored all the various small scale mining sites within this Municipality and I must confess that you have exhibited a nationalistic posture by adhering to the call by the President to forestall the natural vegetation and sanitise the water bodies as a result of the indiscriminate mining activities under the erstwhile government. He therefore pleaded with participants to enhance and sustain all the precautionary measures in their activities when the ban is finally lifted” he said.
According to the MCE, considering the increasing number of Ghanaians in the small scale industry, it was prudent to put in place a formidable legal and labour backing for the teeming employees so as to ensure a well structured working environment for the general wellbeing of all, he hinted.
Touching on the marketing aspect of the minerals, Hon Gilbert Ken Asmah noted that Government will consider partnering with other bodies in the purchasing and exportation of gold and other minerals; his response was necessitated when a participant argued about the monopolization of minerals marketing in Ghana by Precious Minerals Marketing Company, PMMC; adding that government must engage other agencies to buy the gold at a befitting rate, he suggested.
In pursuing the strict compliance to the inter Ministerial Committee on illegal mining regulations ahead of the ban lifting, Hon Asmah revealed government’s readiness to fix tracking device on all mining earth moving equipment aimed at monitoring their operations, he added.
“We must all contribute in making the responsible mining experience absolutely safe for our Municipality and Country”.
By Dominic Kojo Blay