Addressing a Mining Ministers Summit in Toronto, Canada, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said in view of the exhaustible nature of mineral resources African governments developed a blueprint, known as the African Mining Vision, to guide efficient use of mineral resources on the Continent.
The Blueprint, he said, sought to integrate Africa’s mineral sector into the Continent’s socio-economic development through creation of diversified and globally competitive African mineral industry, which would contribute to rapid economic growth.
A statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said, the summit attracted Mining Ministers from Ghana, Canada, Chile, Morocco, Ethiopia and South Africa to facilitate and coordinate the contribution of stakeholders for the improvement of mining communities globally.
It is being held on the theme; “Diversify to create Sustainable Development in Mining Communities”.
Meanwhile, on December 14, 2018, Government unveiled a new Mining Policy Framework to regularize mining activities in Ghana.
The new Policy was outdoored on the eve of the lifting of the ban on illegal small-scale mining, which had caused massive destruction to water bodies and the environment over the past two decades.
The Government placed a moratorium on all forms of small-scale mining in March, 2017, for six months and extended it indefinitely after the expiration, to have sufficient time to sanitize the mining sector.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining (IMCIM), who outlined the provisions in the Policy, said government would provide alternative livelihoods for artisanal miners.
He said mining equipment that has not been registered and tagged with tracking devices would be confiscated to the State, while fabrication and transportation of mining equipment, popularly known as “Changfan,” would not be countenanced.
Additionally, drones and other tracking devices would monitor and enforce mining regulations, while licensed and registered artisanal small-scale miners would be organized into community co-operatives and provided with validated mining concessions to work legitimately.
Consequently, government would establish Geological Investigation Technical Steering Committee for the Minerals Commission and Ghana Geological Survey Authority, which would be resourced to improve geology for small-scale mining operations to enable them to identify suitable lands for mining to prevent indiscriminate mining.
Other reforms outlined include the development of computer software to aid in regulating the activities of regulatory agencies such as the Minerals Commission, Water Resources Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.
This is to monitor the life-cycle of mining and mining related activities while regulatory agencies undergo reformation to make them efficient.