Mr. Eric Coffie Rivers, General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM), said small scale mining has contributed close to $1 million to Government’s revenue last year.
He said the sector provided direct employment opportunities to over three million people country-wide and twice the number benefited indirectly.
Mr. Rivers, who said these at the association’s annual general meeting and fund raising ceremony at Obuasi on Wednesday, said the small scale mining was helping to mitigate employment problems as well as rural-urban migration in the country.
He said: “Other benefits that the small scale mining sector is providing in the country include poverty reduction, contribution to exploration, enhancement in gold production and economic empowerment”.
Mr. Rivers appealed to National Security to dialogue with the Minerals Commission and the national and district associations of small scale mining to help curb illegal mining.
He said the national association would liaise with the Minerals Commission to check the operations of foreign small scale mining.
Mr. Rivers appealed to large scale mining companies to co-exist with the small scale miners to create jobs and wealth for the citizenry.
The president of the GNASSM, Evangelist Collins Osei Kusi, said there was the need for the association to team up with key stakeholders, including the Minerals Commission to ensure that operations of small scale mining did not create problems for the nation.
Mr. Orlands Kofi Tetteh, Assistant Manager at the Minerals Commission in-charge of Small Scale Mining, said the Commission had opened a mining district at Konongo to increase the centers to nine.
He said the Commission had acquired 4,000 kilometers of land across the country solely for small scale mining and “the land is being prospected for that purpose” and the Commission had provided a vehicle to facilitate the operation’s work.
Major Sydney Hayford (Rtd), Small Scale Mining Consultant, asked the association to help stop children and women from engaging in mining.
Representatives from Wa, Bolga, Tarkwa, Dunkwa, Asankragua, Oda, Fosu and Bibiani attended the meeting mining all areas