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General News of Wednesday, 23 February 2022


Lands Ministry implementing appropriate regulatory framework to build viable mining industry - Jinapor

Samuel A. Jinapor Samuel A. Jinapor

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, says Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, is implementing appropriate regulatory, legal, fiscal, and environmental policies, to achieve the vision of the President to build a responsible, viable, sustainable and environmentally-sound mining industry anchored on integrity, transparency and good governance.

He said this will bring optimum benefit to the people of Ghana, who are the true owners of these minerals.

Speaking at the 3rd International Conference on Irrigation and Agricultural Development (IRAD, 2022), held at the University for Development Studies in Tamale on Tuesday, 22nd February, 2022, Hon. Jinapor highly commended the University's attempt to find solutions to the effective management of our water resources and environmental sustainability, even in the face of increasing natural resources exploitation.

In his Keynote address, Hon. Jinapor indicated that the conference comes at a time when Government has intensified its fight against illegal mining and at a time when the country is mobilising the entire country to support an aggressive afforestation programme to contribute to global climate action.  

The Hon. Minister said the impact of mining on water resources and the environment is not only an issue of illegalities but a natural occurance from the exploitation of minerals, and, therefore, requires a regulatory and policy framework that minimizes the impact of mining on the environment.

The Minister noted that the exploitation of our mineral resources was necessary, but cannot be done at the expense of the environment and our water bodies. He lamented the near breakdown of regulation between 2014 and 2016, compelling Government to put a moratorium on small scale mining.

"We cannot industrialise if we do not invest in the exploitation and utilisation of our bauxite and other mineral resources…. But their exploitation, management and utilisation must be such as, not only to benefit the current generation, but future generations as well, and will protect the environment for posterity, in accordance with Principle Two of the Stockholm Declaration on Human Environment” the Minister pointed out.

He indicated that people in local communities, particularly women, who depend heavily on the natural environment for their sustenance, always bear the brunt of human activities that impact the environment.

The Minister, therefore, admonished all mining companies, particularly the large scale companies, to realise their duty towards the local community, and ensure that their operations bring optimal benefit to the communities.

"Mining companies must also, at all times, observe their duty to mine responsibly, both environmentally and socially, to minimise the impact of their operations on the environment and maximise benefits" He added.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister who is also the Member of Parliament(MP) for the Damango Constituency, is said to be able to achieve the African Mining Vision which advocates for " Transparent, Equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and social-economic development", there is the urgent need for stakeholders to adopt policies and regulatory framework anchored on the vision.

He further stated that the vision of the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is to make Ghana the mining hub of Africa, where all mining and mining-related activities, from exploration to downstream production, and from research to innovation, will be centred.

The Minister disclosed that his Ministry, in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General, is working to amend the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) to expressly prohibit the manufacture, sale, supply and use of the floating device, “changfans.”

Touching on the recent tragic incident at Appiatse, he said the government has decided to build the Community into a Modern, Green and Sustainable community, stressing that in the medium to long term period, the new Appiatse township will become the model of mining communities and rural development in Ghana.