Government starts Community Mining Programme in Ashanti Region
The government has given the green light for the commencement of regulated, responsible and sustainable mining at Adomanu in the Adansi North District in the Ashanti Region under the Community Mining Programme (CMP).
So far, 2000 out of the 5000 registrants trained at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa have received their licensed to start mining in a month while the process was ongoing to grant the rest permitted.
At a ceremony to inaugurate the CMP programme at the weekend, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation said the program was a major step towards reducing illegal small scale mining, formalizing mining activities as well as give all miners training and official cover.
“There were assertions that the president was against mining that was why he banned it. That is not right rather he despised certain issues including the involvement of foreigners, use of mercury, which contaminated aquatic life,” he said.
“We are doing this to absorb young energetic Ghanaians in mineral-rich communities who intend to pursue mining but cannot own concessions”.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng stated that unlike the previous practice where small scale mining was done haphazardly, the CPM would be inclusive, well regulated with a dedicated central processing site adequately equipped. It would stop the old practice of mining in water bodies and the proceeds would be well allocated to all relevant bodies.
The Minister said a total of 328 concessions 16 mining districts had been demarcated, mapped and uploaded onto the GalamStop software for the programme.
He said over 20,000 miners have registered and received their ID card to participate in the CMP.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng advised the District Mining Committee headed by the District Chief Executives to eschew partisan politics in the distribution of concessions.
Dr Naa Dedei Tagoe, Project Coordinator of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) said the first pilot project was launched at Bawdie-Dompim in the Wassa Amenfi East District with approximately 1000 workers.
Aside the Adansi North District community mines she said other sites had been set up in Akrofuom and Atwimua Mponua Districts.
The IMCIM, mentioned had constructed two landing sites on River Pra at Beposo and River Ankobra at Axim.
Dr Tagoe said GalamStop software had been developed to monitor activities of miners and the life cycle of mining and related licenses.
She stated that some stakeholders in the sector were being reorganised to embrace alternative livelihoods.
She said 331 trainees, out of the first batch of 500 had graduated from the 11 Community Development Vocational and Technical Institutes (CDVTIs) as part of the institutional level training programme.
The Project Coordinator noted that a total of 367 beneficiaries had been enrolled at the community level training.
Mr Eric Kwame Kusi, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Adansi North said the district had 877 acres of land, which had been demarcated into 36 concessions and were also receiving some technical and safety support from Aglogold Ashati.
He explained that key criteria for consideration were that miners needed to have received training, well-grounded in safety precautions and had obtained comprehensive insurance.
The DCE appealed to the miners to adhere to the rules and regulations as well as best practices and that the concession of miners flouted the rules would be taken.
Mr Osei Kusu, the National Chairman for Artisanal Scale Mining said they would support the CMP and appealed to the government to help them with a technology to process gold without the use of mercury.
He said the group was aiming at increasing their gold production from about 40 to 50 per cent to boost the economy.