The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, says government has not placed ban on small scale mining but rather, government has instituted a ban on illegal and irresponsible mining.
Addressing a forum organized by the Ashanti Chapter of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) in Kumasi at the Miklin Hotel on Thursday, July 22, the Deputy Minister assured the teeming industry players of government’s support to sanitise the mining industrial thereby elevating stakeholders in the small scale mining sector to a large scale.
“In the first place, government did not place any ban on mining. Government placed ban on illegal mining and even the act itself places a ban on illegal mining” adding, “Naturally, there was a ban because of the act and anything that involves illegality is not tolerated as far as our act is concerned and even the constitution is concerned.”
According to Hon. Duker, government has instituted what he described as green mining which will abate the use of mercury in mining of gold, explaining that government has secured at least five Commodity Monitors which will promote more productivity in the sector.
“When I say green mining [that is], mining without mercury. As I speak with you, a lot of people apply mercury in mining that has its own ramification. So what we intend doing is to give them commodity mining machine [Commodity Monitors] where they could attract more gold without mercury and that machine would be distributed to these small scale miners.”
Meanwhile, for government to achieve this target, various mechanism are also being considered which will include; an award scheme for the industry players along with the establishment of a bank, similar to that of ADB Bank to focus on supporting only miners so as to build champions in the industry.
In attendance is a high powered delegation from the Minerals Commission led by its CEO and executives and members of various zonal groups of Small Scale Miners.
Photos from the forum