Workshop on mainstreaming small-scale mining held in Accra

Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) has organised a stakeholders’ workshop to strategise the mainstreaming of small-scale mining sector, and the quest to use mining as catalyst for sustainable national development.

It was to provide an evidenced-based policy advocacy tool to ensure improvement in the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) sector in Ghana.

The workshop also served as a platform to find out strategies to implement a research recommendations organised by BUSAC Fund to harness the potential of ASM in the country.

The research captured findings on environment, health and safety issues, issues of law and order, involvement of foreigners in ASM and political interference in local authorities and enforcement agencies in four mining communities.

The communities are Obuasi, Bogosu, Prestea-Hunu Valley and Damang.

According to the research, less than 30 per cent of ASM operators were registered and complaint with the law and even the modus operandi of some licensed ASM’s makes them illegal.

This means that some ASM operators use their licence to operate in a different concession other than the particular concession for which the licence was granted.

It indicated that operations of ASM were a vital component in the mining sector to generate a lot of revenue for the nation when properly mainstreamed.

The research revealed that when ASM’s are well supported and regulated, it could create employment for many employment youth in the country.

It mentioned some of the challenges facing ASM sector as exploitation of child labour, environmental degradation and other health safety issues, political interference and legal and institutional challenges.

In order to harness the potential of ASM, the research said government and local authorities should formulate a Mining Act to define ASM in line with current global trend and practice.

It called on non-governmental organisations and development partners to advocate for positive ASM through targeted development which included the provision of resources for ASM operation.

Dr Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer of GCM, pledged the Chamber’s commitment to work with stakeholders to implement principles of collaborative decision-making and shared responsibility for the resolution of social, environment and developmental issues related to mining.

He said the chamber would continue to advocate the elimination of illegal mining in the country.

Source: GNA

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