Dr. Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer of Minerals Commission, has inaugurated two small-scale mining committees in the Upper Denkyira East Municipal and Upper Denkyira West District Assemblies.
Inaugurating the committees on behalf of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, Dr. Aubynn said artisanal and small-scale mining has contributed significantly to the economy.
He said: “In 2014 for instance, total gold produced by small scale miners was about 1.49 million ounces, representing 34.3 per cent of the total gold produced in Ghana. All the diamonds produced was by ASMs and the sub-sector also generated substantial employment to the youth both direct and indirect as well as forward and backward economic linkages.”
He said these positive impacts were quite often negated by tendencies bordering on socio-economic, environmental and technical issues.
Dr. Aubynn called on the members of the committees to endeavour to assist the District Office of the Minerals Commission to effectively monitor, promote and develop mining operations in the designated areas.
“As members of this committee, I urge you to ensure that small scale mining in your area of jurisdiction becomes a decent means of livelihood for the youth but not a menace as ‘galamsey’ is sometimes described,” he said.
The establishment of a small-scale mining committee in every area designated for small scale mining is a requirement of Section 92 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).
Ms. Emelia Ankomah, Chief Executive Officer of the Upper Denkyira East Municipal Assembly and chairperson of a committee, assured the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources that, the committee would live up to the task reposed on them.
She also appealed for logistical support such as live jackets and fast boat to enable the Municipal Security Council to ward off illegal miners.
Mr. Ambrose Amoah-Ashyiah, District Chief Executive Officer of Upper Denkyira West District Assembly and Chairman of the committee, promised that the body would deliver on its mandate to bring sanity to small-scale mining operations in the District.—GNA