The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources on Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020, on behalf of President Akufo-Addo inaugurated a Community Mining Programme in the Obuasi Municipality.
The Programme is aimed at formalizing mining in selected communities across the region and ultimately in the country.
According to Honorable Asomah- Cheremeh, the community mining program is expected to provide employment for more than 16,000 people whiles Government anticipates to rake in more revenue. He revealed that last year, proceeds from small scale mining contributed to 36% of revenue accrued from the Mining sector to the state.
He said the launch of the program brings an end to Galamsey or illegal mining which have wreaked havoc to arable lands and water bodies in the country.
With most of the miners having been trained by Government at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa in the Western Region to take up responsible mining instead of irresponsible mining as done in the past, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister said, he is convinced that they will abide by the rules and regulations guiding their operations.
Hon. Asomah- Cheremeh also assured prospective small scale miners that District and Satellite offices have been created to ensure that they acquire licenses with less stress. Again, he said plans are far advanced to digitized the licensing acquisition processes for small scale miners.
On his part the Board Chairman of the Mineral Commission, Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo also said, to ensure a healthy and peaceful environment for community mining to flourish in Obuasi, an office has been set up in the Municipalityfor operators to channel their grievances to.
He talked about the benefits of the Community mining program which he said among other things, will open up the economy and also create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the Municipality.
The Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Honorable Kwaku Kwarteng said Artisanal Mining was the mainstay of the people of Obuasi even before the arrival of large scale mining. He said the survival of the people of Obuasi rest with Large scale and small scale mining all flourishing.
He said the Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo’s Government is one that fulfills its promises. “When we were campaigning in 2016, we promised to revive Anglogold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine and also regularize the activities of illegal mining in the country, true to our words, all these have been achieved”.
He appealed to the Government to expand the frontiers of the Community Mining to include other areas in the Municipality.
Members of the Small Scale Miners Association also praised the Government for formalizing their operations with rules and regulations that will help them function effectively. They pledged their support for the sector to be sanitized by abiding by the rules and regulations.
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