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Regional News of Thursday, 25 July 2019

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

President out-doors Community Mining project in the Western Region

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday officially opened the Community Mining initiative instituted by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Mining (IMCM) as alternative to the destructive illegal mining activities.

The Akufo Addo led government, a year and half ago, made a strong case against illegal mining looking at its devastating effects on lands, water bodies and forest in general and therefore placed a ban on the practice to enable the government to find better and lasting solution to its effect.

The community concept, born few months ago, is therefore a replacement and a relief to the many youth who hitherto became redundant due to the ban on illegal small scale mining.

President Nana Akufo Addo pointed out that Ghana from ages past had been known for its mineral prowess and it was not during his regime that he would end the practice,

"It was not for nothing that the Portuguese gave the name Elmina to a part of the country...our fathers have traded in the mines for years and it is not during my time that I will stop mining...but I will not also sit down and witness the wanton destruction of illegal mining on our environment and the future generation...we need responsible mining," the President said.

He said he was grateful to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Mining for a great work done to bring hope back to the many youth and people who engaged in the trade through responsible mining.

"I am told about 15,000 people are going to benefits from this new arrangement and such a laudable scheme will be replicated in all mining communities across the country".

The mining enclave created for the artisanal miners would have health inspectors, alcohol testing machines, processors to ensure that their activities conformed to best practices.

The President, therefore, urged the miners to abide by all regulations concerning their new trade in order not to come into conflict with the law.

Professor Frimpong Boateng said 85 districts were going to benefits from the Community Mining Initiative, adding that procedures for getting accreditation or license to operate within the sector had been shortened.

Mr Kobby Okyere Darko, the Western Region Minister, said the reforms was necessary to ensure that indigenous participation in the sector was done within the confines of the law.