More than 3,000 residents are in line to gain employment following the launch of a new Community Mining Scheme (CMS) at Bongo-Soe in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region.
The Bongo-Soe CMS, which is the first to be opened in the Upper East Region, is also expected to promote economic activities and enhance livelihoods in the area.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, who launched it yesterday, said, the CMS initiative was introduced by government to increase Ghanaian participation in the mining sector and encourage responsible and sustainable mining.
He stated that CMS was government’s approach in revamping the mining sector and raising local giants in the small scale mining industry.
The Bongo-Soe CMS, he said, would provide both direct and indirect jobs to the people of Bongo and its environs.
He stated that, recent findings in the mining sector, indicated that the northern parts of the country have large deposits of minerals, citing the presence of mining companies including Cardinal Namdini Resources and Perseus Mining in those areas as testament to the findings.
Mr Jinapor said the government was focused on working to ensure the exploitation of the resources in a responsible and sustainable manner and avoid illegal activities that have engulfed mining activities in the southern parts of Ghana.
He expressed confidence that the Bongo-Soe CMS would create employment in the area and improve the livelihoods of the people.
The Minister, however cautioned the beneficiaries against illegal and unsustainable mining practices that could harm the environment and impede growth in the sector.
“As you know, we have developed a manual for the Community Mining Scheme and must therefore be religiously adhered to. The Ministry will not hesitate to revoke the license if the CMS is found not to be following the measures stipulated in the manual,” Mr Jinapor added.
He urged the management of the scheme to work effectively with the stakeholders in the area including the Bongo District Assembly and the traditional authorities to ensure that royalties were paid, local jobs were created, reliefs and overall progress of the area was achieved.
Stephen Yakubu, Upper East Regional Minister, assured that the Regional Coordinating Council would ensure the implementation of the measures contained in the CMS manual as well as the effective use and maintenance of the Gold Katcha for a successful scheme.
The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Atamaale, said the launch of the CMS in the area was timely as it would contribute to reducing unemployment in the area.
The chiefs, he said, would work with the Assembly to ensure that mining was done within the confines of the law.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS