The Minerals Commission of Ghana with support from Australian government is developing an online mining licensing system for legal miners as a move to weed out galamsey, said Isaac Abraham, Head of Public Relations.
Dubbed “Digital Cadastre System”, the framework when completed, would have the capacity to detect the availability of mineral resources at a geographical area and tell how good the place is for mining.
It would also be linked to the Ghana Revenue Authority revenue collection systems so that taxes paid by the miners would directly go to the appropriate coffers to enhance transparency and accountability in revenue collection.
The move, he explained would address the difficulties miners go through in the acquisition of licence and to encourage the public to embrace legal mining while contributing to the economic growth of the country.
Mr Abraham was speaking with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of an anti-galamsey campaign organised by the Minerals Commission Ladies Association (MiCLA) in Accra at the weekend.
“People can access this at a distance without necessarily coming to the Commission. All they need is their site plan,” he said adding that miners could apply for every type of mining licence.
The Head of Public Relations expressed confidence in the system saying “other countries are successfully using it and I am sure it will be very helpful.”
He commended the MiCLA for the efforts made to fuel the fight against illegal mining and reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment towards making it viable in pursuit of its vision.
“The Minerals Commission started the fight against galamsey about eight years ago. But the cooperation of the public was a challenge. We are happy that MiCLA which was established not long ago is doing this,” Mr Abraham said.
He also said the Commission was working with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to tighten regulatory frameworks to streamline the operations in the mining sector to help weed out menace of illegal mining.
The campaign which saw hundreds of women from civil societies, schools, and corporate bodies embarked on a health walk on the streets of Accra, was on the theme “Walking for responsible mining.”
Mrs Bernice Ama Kafui Botchway, the president of the Association said plans were far advanced by the MiCLA to empower women to participate in legal mining through schooling them on the responsible way of engaging in the activity.
Mrs Botchway observed with regret, the health and economic challenges some women in mining activities go through and assured that the Association would work hard to improve on their welfare.
“When you go to our various mining sites, you will see young women being used for tasks that are beyond their strength, which is very bad,” she expressed worry and said the MiCLA was resolute to fight that.
The move, she explained, would help create opportunities for women to participate in decision making in the mining industry and influence policy formulations geared at conserving “our rich natural resources.”