Association appeals for support for small scale miners

Artisanal miner in Ghana using mercury to extract gold

Mr Francis Opoku, Public Relations Officer of the National Association of Small Scale Miners, on Tuesday appealed to the government to support small scale mining.

He said every country depended on its natural resources and the recent rise in gold prices was an incentive for the government to support the sector.

Mr Opoku said this in an interview with the GNA after a workshop where stakeholders deliberated on developing a blue print to address small scale mining.

He said illegal mining provided direct employment for the youth in the country.

Mr Opoku said though the government provided legal backing for regulated mining, illegal mining would continue to be a canker in the country if the problems of unemployment and poverty were not addressed.

He said lack of land, finance and equipment as major challenges faced by the miners.

“It is the lack of financial support that makes small scale miners to collaborate with foreigners to mine and until full support is given to the local miners, it will be difficult for local miners to do business,” he said.

Responding to a question on land reclamation and the destruction miners did to the environment, he said corporate and social responsibility of mining industries should be encouraged as in the case of Wasa Akropon, where some percentage of miners’ income was kept by the association for land reclamation.

Source: GNA

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