Government is taking steps to introduce Medium Scale Mining as part of the road map to address some of the challenges in the small scale mining sector and control illegal mining (galamsey) in the country.
The initiative is part of the Multi-sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) being implemented by government in its quest to resolve the “galamsey” menace.
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ms Barbara Oteng Gyasi who made the disclosure, said the move was also to address the participation of foreigners in small scale mining, which was reserved for only Ghanaians.
She was delivering a speech on the topic, “Improving the Small Scale Mining Regime in Ghana” at this year’s National Policy Summit in Kumasi.
The two-day event brought together policy makers, business leaders, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to discuss mutually beneficial ways of achieving national development.
The Deputy Minister said under the medium scale mining arrangement, foreigners who want to go into mining but lacked the capacity to invest in large scale mining, would be made to partner with a local company to obtain a concession.
This, she said would eliminate the involvement of foreigners in small scale mining and enable government to monitor activities of foreigners in the industry.
She said the Ministry was adopting a multi stakeholder approach to holistically address the perennial problem which had caused massive destruction to the environment and water bodies over the years.
She said the small-scale mining sector employed over one million Ghanaians and contributed about 39 per cent of the country’s gold output and that government had no intention to collapse the sector.
It was however exploring alternative livelihood projects to keep those affected by the ban in economic activities.
It was for that reason that 15,000 hectares of oil palm had been developed at Ayamfuri in the Western Region under the MMIP.
Two million oil palm seedlings have also been nursed for distribution to illegal miners willing to go into farming, she disclosed.