The Minister for Lands and Natural Resource, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh on Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020, on behalf of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the green light for the commencement of community mining in the Obuasi East District in the Ashanti Region under the government Community Mining Programme (CMP).
The community mining project is a novel mining model introduced by the Akufo-Addo government to address some of the underlying causes of illegal mining (galamsey), within the mining communities throughout the country.
Again, the programme is aimed at providing members of mining communities the opportunity to engage in lawful and meaningful mining ventures and ensure sustainable livelihood for the beneficiaries of the scheme.
Outdooring the programme at Ayease, a community in the Obuasi East District, Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh outlined some of the impacts of the projects including providing employment for more than 16,000 people. This he said aligns with the government’s agenda of job creation.
He revealed that proceeds from small scale mining contributed 36% of revenue accrued from the mining sector to the state.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister added that Obuasi is blessed as a community to be endowed with gold, a natural resource which contributes significantly to Ghana and the world at large by the creation of employment, revenue generation, source of foreign exchange and many others.
The Minister said small scale mining continues to contribute significantly to the socio-economic needs of Ghana. The operations have transformed from artisanal to the use of sophisticated mining techniques in recent times.
The introduction of the community mining laws have helped in improving small scale mining activities and minimized associated environmental hazards.
He commended the District Chief Executive for Obuasi East District, Faustina Amissah for a good job done in regards to the community mining in the district.
As provided for within mining law, the scheme is reserved for only Ghanaians but with emphasis on host communities, he added.
The Board Chairman of the Minerals Commission, Sampson Kwaku Boafo on his part was overwhelmed and congratulated the people of Ayease community for such a remarkable job done.
He said galamsey was seen as a death trap for miners but with the introduction of community mining, there will be no record of death of miners.
He pleaded with the miners to follow all measures put in place for the local community mining as this will not only benefit the current generation but will benefit many generations years to come and ensure the development of this project is kept functioning for a longer period of time.
He also seized the opportunity to advise them to adopt and inculcate the habit of savings to prepare for the future and not to spend the money they earn from the mining unnecessarily.
The Member of Parliament for Obuasi East who was re-elected in the recent NPP primaries, Dr. Partrick Boakye Yiadom said it became necessary for President Akufo-Addo to place a ban on small scale mining across the country in 2017 due to the destruction of the environment, river bodies and forest reserves by illegal miners.
He stressed that the ban had been lifted for only small-scale miners whose concessions have been duly validated hence the commissioning of local mining in the district.
Dr. Boakye Yiadom told the miners to abide by the rules and regulations governing the community mining for peaceful mining at Ayease and also to ensure the safety of the community members.
“Health is Wealth. Let us give large meaning to our life, as health is considered the most valuable and precious for every individual,” the one-time Medical Doctor opined.
Dr. Boakye said the Akufo-Addo government is a promise fulfilling government and the revival of Anglo Gold Ashanti Obuasi Mine and also the launching of the Local Mining is a testimony of a good government.
The DCE, Faustina Amissah expressed her sincerest appreciation to the President for fulfilling his promise of regularizing the activities of illegal mining and the Minster for Lands and Natural Resources for such a laudable project.
She stressed that the community mining project in her jurisdiction will help ease pressure on Anglo Gold Ashanti as the main source of employment for the people of Obuasi. She again promised on behalf of the district, to abide by the rules covering the operations of community mining in the country.
Present at the launch were Nananom, the District Coordinating Director of the Obuasi East, Emmanuel Ntoso, and Heads of Department and the Assembly Members.
Source: information services department