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Regional News of Thursday, 20 December 2018


Lifting ban on small-scale mining is a step towards sustainable mining - Apinto Gyasehene

The chief of Kotokyere and Gyasehene of the Apinto Divisional Stool under the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area, Nana Dr Adarkwa Bediako III has observed that lifting the ban on small-scale mining was only the first step towards sustainable small-scale mining.

The real task according to the Apinto Gyasehene lies in ensuring that the training and sensitizations effort of the government through the only dedicated mining University, University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) were actually applied by the Small-scale miners.

The government had cleared over 3000 validated small-scale miners to fully begin operations following a successful training at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa.

Additionally, the government announced a new policy framework for regularizing and reforming Small-scale mining activities.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who announced this at a media briefing said the reform was not to be misconstrued to mean the government was lifting the ban on illegal mining.

Following the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining and the clearance of over 3000 small-scale miners to begin their work, the Apinto Gyasehene who is also a Senior Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Administration (GIMPA) wants the Monitoring and Evaluation Efforts of the Mineral Commission, Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), the Security Services and the chiefs and Elders of the mining communities needed to be properly defined and scrutinized.

“It is our commitment as a people and especially as chiefs of mining communities that will sustain the efforts of the government in achieving this goal”.

Speaking at the Amankuma festival celebrated by the people of Apinto, the Apinto Gyasehene added “We will like to assure the government that the chiefs and elders and people of Apinto are indeed committed to stopping galamsey and to ensure sustainable small-scale mining.

Continuing, however, the Kotokyere chief who is known in private life as Mr Tobin stated that in the coming year, the chiefs of Apinto were ready to facilitate a Tarkwa Development Forum (TDF) by engaging mining companies, the Assembly and the UMaT to develop a blueprint for the area.

The blueprint would seek to consolidate the development efforts of government, the mining companies, the chiefs and other agencies.

The chief said the Apinto Stool has taken this decision because often times, the social responsibility initiatives of the mining companies, the developmental goals of the Assembly and the needs of the communities were not properly aligned.

Such forum, the Gyasehene observed would structure the developmental goals and ensure that Tarkwa became the Golden Town.

That apart, the Stool would be working with the mining companies to develop effective local-local content policies that would ensure that local businesses competitively got more of the contracts from the mines.

Considering the dilapidating state of Tarkwa and Prestea as mining towns, the Gyasehene suggested to the government through the Mineral Development Fund (MDF) Act 912 of 2016 to ring-fence a percentage of all income from the mines.