Vice President Mahama at the weekend cautioned chiefs and other traditional leaders against condoning and conniving with illegal small scale miners to destroy the environment at the detriment of the public interest.
He said: “We will want to assure the mining industry that as a government, we will do our best to curb if not to totally eradicate the activities of illegal miners popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’.
Vice President Mahama gave the caution when he officially inaugurated the Edikan Mines belonging to the Perseus Mining Ghana Limited (PMGL) at Ayanfuri in the Central Region.
The Edikan Goldmine of the PMGL, which is located 16 kilometres west of Dunkwa-on- Offin near Ayanfuri commenced mine construction in June 2010 with the first gold poured in August 2011 to test run the facility.
The mine is made up of an open mining operation, a processing plant and related infrastructure to mine and process ore and associated gold deposits within the boundaries of PMGL and holds 5.6 million ounces of measured and indicated resources.
Vice President Mahama announced that government had advanced the local content law, which would compel the extractive industry and other transnational corporations to employ a reasonable percentage of the indigenes in their enterprises.
He said government is also putting in place a number of regulations that would restructure the operations of the extractive industry and make it more purposeful and beneficial to the companies and the indigenes of their operational areas.
The Vice President commended PMGL for setting aside GH¢750,000 as a trust fund to undertake development projects in their operational areas.
He appealed to them to engage stakeholders in the definition of their social license and distribution of the projects to avoid bitterness.
“I will encourage Perseus Mining not to limit its training programmes only to the youth of its mining communities, but other less endowed communities in the country,” he concluded.
Mr Mike Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources called on the mining companies to develop the capacities of Ghanaians to undertake their own enterprises.
He expressed regret that most of the companies are not adhering to the local content proposals and gave the assurance that the enforcement of the law in subsequent months would compel them to employ a certain portion of professionals from Ghana.
Mr Hammah said the companies under the law would also be compelled to annually prepare their business plans to ensure that local enterprises benefited from the transnational corporations and organisations.
Nana Prah Gyensaim, Board Chairman of PMGL said the company is the leading private project in the Central Region, generating the highest revenue to government and the single largest employer in the area.
He said the workforce is made of 52 per cent from the local communities and the figure would increase when full operation in their mining jurisdiction begins.