The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining, George Mireku Duker, has stressed that the plethora of community mining schemes championed by the Akufo-Addo government is ample demonstration of its commitment to ensure that irresponsible mining is done away with.
“A lot has been said of this government and whether it is against mining or not. Over the course of time this government has demonstrated in clear terms that it has the best of intentions for mining. We continue to bring forth sustainable innovations while creating a conducive environment for mining to be done without any destruction to the environment. This is our commitment,” the Tarka-Nsuaem Member of Parliament said.
He added: “For example we have introduced the community mining concept. We believe that a good number of our youth are into small-scale mining. This form of mining has been associated with wanton destruction to the environment. It has to stop. But then again, there is the issue of survival. So the community mining will help us achieve two things and they are mining in a sustainable manner as well as making the teeming youth remain economically sound.”
He said this at the Akoon Community Mining site in Tarkwa in the Western Region while launching the small-scale and community mining operational manual.
The 32-paged small-scale and community mining operational manual explains what the community mining scheme is, its administration and an oversight committee to ensure effectiveness.
The manual also explains in simple terms the procedure in acquiring a mining license and support services.
“I am happy that we are launching this manual. This will ensure that the operations are done under strict compliance to all protocols under mining that promote sustainable mining. We have their assurance that they will draw all their endeavours from this manual. What will also happen is that there will be a roadshow to all mining communities to educate miners about the manual,” Mr Mireku Duker said.
Some 1,000 young men and women are expected to gain direct employment at the Akoon Community Mining Project site with close to 5,000 indirect jobs.
To ensure that both the extraction and processing of the gold is done in strict compliance with international conventions on mining, government donated two mercury-free processing machines to the miners.
“The world is moving from sustainability and we have seen over the years that small scale mining has been destroying our environment. Almost all the water bodies from river Ankobra, Pra, Tano and the Offin have been heavily polluted,” Chief Executive Officer of Commodity Monitor Stephen Yeboah said.
“In all the conversations about small scale mining the missing link is that there is no machine that is an alternative to the use of mercury.”
Therefore, “we have brought in this machine that will ensure that the small-scale miners are able to process the gold without using mercury. The machine recovers more gold and this is the best way to help the miners shift from the use of mercury which is dangerous and affecting not only their health but all of us are at risk. With this machine, they can recover about 95 percent of the gold without using mercury. And the recovery is also in record time”.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana