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Majority of illegal miners in Ghana are migrants – Chamber of Mines

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ghanagoldMr. Sulemanu Koney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said research shows that in most areas where illegal mining takes place, it is usually done largely by non-indigenes.

He said one of the most effective ways of fighting illegal mining was the involvement of community members in ensuring they protect their environment by informing law enforcement agencies and chiefs within the locality.

Mr Koney told the GNA in an interview at the premiere of the film “Trading Ghana’s Water for Gold” that people in such areas needed to be sensitized to know that their environment was being destroyed.

Mr. Koney said the law stated that small scale mining was the preserve of Ghanaians only as Ghanaians might not have the financial muscle to go into large scale mining.

He said small scale mining should be well supervised and the government had a role to play by not just licensing but ensuring that people used the best practices.

Mr Koney said the government had set up centres under the auspices of the Minerals Commission that are to do field visits, monitor and evaluate mining operations to ensure that the right procedures are adopted.

He said mining was a national vocation and a business, as such there was a need to encourage Ghanaian mining entrepreneurs to go into it and appealed to the government to support indigenous Ghanaians to go into small scale mining by removing the risks involved.

“Mining is good, and we are blessed with the resources so we must mine responsibly making sure that we get optimal benefit of our mining industry,” he said.

At a panel discussion, Prof Chris Gordon, Director, Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies, said a few people, out of greed, were making Ghana to lose its natural resources.

He described the activities of illegal mining as an act supported by barons who sometimes do not live in the country.

Prof Gordon suggested that the district assemblies should spearhead the campaign in sensitizing community members on the need to preserve the environment, most especially water bodies.

The documentary written by Edem Srem and Gifty Andoh- Appiah, with scenes shot in Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Central, Eastern and Western Regions, highlight the operations of illegal mining and its consequences on community members and Ghana at large.

The premiere of the film, organised by Creative Storm Network aims at exposing the root cause of the trade, championing the campaign to sensitize the public on the need to preserve natural resources and addressing its related issues as a social responsibility.

Source: GNA

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