A new Community Mining Scheme (CMS) has been established at Mfante in the AhafoAno North Municipality of the Ashanti Region with a projection to create 2,000 direct jobs.
Inaugurated by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku-Duker, the scheme was also expected to become the alternative source of livelihood for persons who were previously engaged in illegal mining, popularly referred to as “galamsey.”
At an inauguration ceremony yesterday, he said the CMS would positively impact economic activities in the community and municipality as a whole.
He explained that the scheme would ensure a safer and environmental-friendly method of exploring gold as it does not make use of the destructive element of mercury.
The Deputy Minister noted that, like all the CMS already established, mining and environmental protection experts would be deployed to monitor and supervise operations to ensure that the measures stipulated in the Act that regulates small-scale mining were strictly followed.
“The CMS is an initiative of the government to ensure safety mining methods so as to prevent the destruction of our environment. The CMS is a good way of mining gold so that our resources will be protected.
This type of mining has been approved by government. We’ll make sure that all the safety protocols are followed. I am filled with happiness to see that a first aid centre has also been opened,” MrMireku-Duker stated.
He re-echoed government’s position of not working against small scale mining but was a champion of sustainable and safe mining that guarantees more benefits to individuals and the community.
“I have seen an office that will ensure proper administration. President Nana Akufo-Addo is not against mining. In fact, he loves mining but he is against activities that destroy our environment. This CMS is his initiative to ensure that we mine in safe conditions and protect the environment,” he said.
MrMireku-Duker appealed to the traditional leaders and community to support government’s fight against the galamsey canker and help nip it in the bud.
The Municipal Chief Executive of AhafoAno North,Ms Martina AppiahNyantekyi, described the CMS as a welcoming development for the municipality and cautioned against illegal mining.
She stressed that the scheme could lead to a turnaround in the economic fortunes of the community, hence required the support of persons and institutions within the municipality.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, MFANTE