The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in Charge of Mines, Mr George Mireku Duker has commissioned a Community Mining Scheme (CMS) in Afransie in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipality in the Western Region, with a charge on miners to practice responsible and sustainable mining.
The environmental-friendly, modernised and mercury-free mining module is in furtherance of the government’s quest to create employment through responsible and sustainable small-scale mining.
Mr Mireku Duker was joined by the Western Regional Minister, Kwadwo Okyere Darko Mensah, and some traditional rulers to launch the Wassa-Afransie Community Mining Scheme on Wednesday
He reminded communities and employees in his address that the Community Mining scheme requirements and safety procedures must be carefully observed.
According to the Deputy Minister, responsible mining practices include land reclamation and the entire avoidance of mercury in the mining process.
To prevent the Miners from going against the rules, the deputy minister presented a mercury-free machine to the operators to assist in the discovery and processing of gold on behalf of government.
“You must mine within the dictates of the licenses issued by the Minerals Commission. It shouldn’t be the usual galamsey. Since this place is an alluvial concession, you must put in place measures for reclamation of every portion of land you’ll dig. Reclamation is a priority that must traditionally followed.
Government has recognized that the mercury is poisonous and harmful to the environment so we have mercury-free machines that will help you mine the gold. The mercury-free machine will help you discover 90% of gold in the ore compare to the mercury chemical that has an efficiency rate of 40%”, he emphasized.
The Deputy Minister stated that these measures are part of the government’s effort to sanitize the small-scale mining sector and dismissed reports that the government is attempting to collapse the sector, adding that the policies are intended to increase revenue and employment in the small-scale mining sector.
He urged individuals involved in illegal mining to stop since it is damaging and poses a threat to the country’s forest reserves and water systems.
He stated that the Community Mining Scheme will offer long-term and profitable employment for the residents, and he also charged them to protect the area’s waterbodies.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah said gold is a top revenue earner for the government and that the government is determined to develop the sector further.
He added that many cities and countries around the world were built on revenue from gold mining and that the community could benefit from the concession if they act in accordance with the law.
The Wassa-Afransie Community Mining Scheme is the 18th scheme launched since the inception of the community mining scheme in 2021. It is expected to create 7,000 direct jobs and 3000 indirect job opportunities.
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD