A new Community Mining Scheme (CMS) project designed to employ 5,000 miners has been inaugurated at Akyemfo in the Aowin District of the Western Region.
The Akyemfo CMS, made up of one concession totaling 25 acres, is the fifth to be launched by the government within the last four months.
Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, inaugurating the scheme on Friday, said CMS was an initiative of the government to promote Ghanaian participation in the mining industry.
He explained that CMS were operated through an eco-friendly and sustainable mining module.
“Community Mining Scheme is a government flagship policy instituted to create decent jobs in mining communities while promoting responsible and sustainable mining.
In achieving this vision, government is taking deliberate steps to delineate and allocate viable areas for small-scale mining operators along with the provision of logistics and mine support services in conformance to strict regulations governing mining in Ghana,” he stated.
As required by law, Mr Duker said, small scale mining was the reserve of Ghanaians, adding that the government would be compelled to halt operations of any CMS that involves foreigners.
“The position of the law on the role of Ghanaians in small-scale mining is that the sector is for Ghanaians and Ghanaians only.
No foreigner is to be allowed to be part. I’m also cautioning Ghanaians against fronting for some foreigners. Anyone who engages in that will be prosecuted,” the Deputy Minister added.
He entreated persons who would be engaged by the scheme to abide strictly to the safety practices.
He said the government was not against mining, but rather views it as an avenue to generate a huge economic impact by creating jobs and enhancing livelihoods.
In a related development, Mr Duker also inaugurated the Aowin District Mining Committee to ensure effective supervision and monitoring of small-scale mining activities in the area.
He appealed to owners of mining concessions in the municipality to cede portions of it in support of the CMS project.
He charged the committee to collaborate with the District Security Coordinating Council (DISEC) in promoting peace and security as well responsible and sustainable mining in the area.
Chairman of the Committee, Samuel AduGyamfi said the Committee would work towards promoting small-scale mining in the country.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS