File image: Illegal small-scale miners mining on one of Ghana’s rivers. MLNR
The government of Ghana is getting ready to introduce a tracking system that will aid in keeping tabs on and controlling the actions of the nation’s small-scale miners. The Ghana Mine Repository and Tracking Control Room at the Minerals Commission will be used to operate the University of Mines and Technology gadget.
George Mireku Duker, the deputy sector minister in charge of mining, revealed this during a meeting with news editors in Accra.
Ghana’s small-scale mining industry employs more than 1 million people and contributes an average of up to 40% of the nation’s total gold production, among many other advantages, making it an important sector for the economy of the country.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is taking steps to regulate the small-scale mining sector and the consequences that illegal small-scale mining has on natural resources like land, forests, protected areas, and water bodies.
The Member of Parliament for the Tarkwa-Nsuaem in the Western Region maintained that the country’s small-scale mining industry is regarded as one of the greatest in Africa, and it has an admirable regulatory framework that has inspired many other countries despite the recent surge in illegal mining on water bodies.
“Zambia and Sudan have learned from us, and the South African High Commissioner is currently at the Ministry with the same goal, to study Ghana’s small-scale mining sector, ” he revealed.
Mr. Duker also highlighted Operation Halt II, the reactivation of district mining committees (DMCs), the creation of community mining schemes (CMS), training for river guards, the purchase of speedboats, and the “Gold Katcha” machine, which processes gold are efforts to ensure the sector employs sustainable mining practices.
The deployment of the Mineral Cadastral Administration System (MCAS) and the purchase of IT equipment for the Minerals Commission are two other noteworthy interventions that have been made to improve efficiency, accountability, and compliance in the management of mineral rights and associated revenues.
‘We are on the premises and the entire mindset is to have our river bodies cleansed, he insisted, so this is not just a talk shop,” he added.
The group of news editors were given a rare opportunity to visit the tracking control room which is expected to be commissioned in December this year.
Update on seized excavators
In response to a query regarding the seized excavators from one of the editors, Mr. Duker revealed that the excavators had been handed over to the Ghana Police Service and that more information regarding the seized excavators would soon be made public.
He called for professional inputs from all including the media terming the mission to combat illegal mining as “difficult.”
“I have never been a miner and I will never be, I have just studied and have a strong grasp of the subject, and that should be on record,” Mr. Duker further refuted claims that he was deeply involved in the “galamsey” issue.
By: Sangmorkie Tetteh | www.zamireports.com | Accra