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Business News of Friday, 18 February 2022


Lands Ministry, banks discuss support for small-scale miners

George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is in discussions with some financial institutions to establish mining support desks to meet the financial needs of small-scale miners.

According to Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, the move was aimed at enhancing local participation and investments in the small-scale mining sector.

Additionally, he said it would help in curtailing the involvement of foreigners who were mostly introduced into the space due to the need for financial investments.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at Nkroful yesterday when he inaugurated the Ellembelle District Mining Committee.

He said already ADB and Cal Bank have expressed interest in the plan and "we’re working with the government to set-up the desks".

Initially, he noted that it was the intention of the Ministry to pursue a Minerals Development Bank that would provide financial support to both large-scale and small-scale mining firms.

The idea, however, was shelved to allow existing banks to meet the needs of small-scale miners through a special arrangement that would involve pre-financing equipment, Mr Duker stated.

Small-scale mining, he said, was capital intensive and that government was determined to create the enabling environment for Ghanaians to actively participate and help in creating wealth.

He charged the Committee to focus primarily on its mandate to fight illegal mining, adding that government deems mining to be a revenue-generating outlet for the country and wants the committee to be on the same page.

“Your mandate is not only to clamp down on illegal mining but also to create viable concessions to create jobs for the teeming youth. We must not see mining as illegality. We must see mining as an entity where we can generate better revenue from it. We can create a future out of it.

“We must ensure that large-scale miners have a serene environment. It is your responsibility to ensure that large-scale firms are protected,” he said.

Mr Kwasi Bonzoh, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ellembele, who is the chairman of the committee welcomed the task handed to them and promised to assist the government deal with issues in the mining firm.

He said the District was blessed with mineral resources which, if well harnessed, would impact positively on its socio-economic development, adding that the committee would not tolerate any form of illegality in mining in the area.

Other members of the six-member committee are Douglas Asuako-Ferkah Arhinkorah, Francis Apeni, Isaac Mwinbelle, Bright Arko and a yet-to-be-named representative of the Traditional Council.