In its drive to sanitise the mining industry, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has launched an award scheme to promote responsible small-scale mining.
At the launch of the 2022 award scheme last Friday in Accra, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, said while enforcing laws against illegal mining, there was a need for a conscious effort to also promote legal and responsible small-scale mining, hence the Responsible Small-Scale Mining Awards.
He said that even though the sector has been wracked by many unacceptable practices that have had a negative impact on the country’s river bodies, landscape and forest cover, it was also an important sector that contributes up to 40% of the country’s gold output, therefore, the government was very conscious of ensuring that it was well managed.
Mr Jinapor outlined several measures the government has put in place to curb the menace of illegal mining including the national and regional dialogues, Operation Halt, the introduction of mercury-free gold processing machines and the National Alternative Livelihood Programme to give people in mining communities alternative income sources.
The categories to be awarded are Best Female Small-Scale Miner, Best Male Small-Scale Miner, Best Small-Scale Miner in Environmental Stewardship and Best Small-Scale Miner in Corporate Social Responsibility.
The rests are Best Gold Exporter, Best Metropolitan/Municipal or District Chief Executive and Best Traditional Leader.
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD