Lands minister launches Community Mining Scheme at Tokwae

A new Community Mining Scheme (CMS) was yesterday launched at Tokwae in the Asante Akim South Municipality of the Ashanti Region.

The scheme, which covers 44.22 acres of land and involves the deployment of a mercury free gold catcher and other enabling facilities, was launched by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor.

The Tokwae CMS is first of 50 CMS scheduled to be inaugurated for operations this year.

Mr Jinapor cautioned the managers of the CMS against the participation of foreigners in the scheme.

He said the CMS was designed to promote responsible and sustainable small-scale mining and provide jobs for the people.

While serving as a source of livelihood for many in the community, Mr Jinapor noted that the scheme was also expected to bring about development, particularly the provision of schools and health facilities to improve the lives of the people.

As the minister in-charge of granting mining licenses and leases, he said he would not hesitate to revoke the license and mining lease of the Tokwae CMS if any foreigner participated in the scheme.

“I want to repeat this for the benefit of all gathered here. Foreigners are not allowed to participate in the scheme. It is solely for the people of Tokwae to work here and benefit themselves and the community at large.

“I will revoke the mining license and lease should any foreigner be found to be working here. We will not entertain any foreign involvement at all in this programme,” Mr Jinapor added.

He urged the managers to adhere strictly to the mining health and safety regulations to avoid incidents.

Mr Jinapor said the Municipal Security Council and a yet-to-be established District Mining Committee would work together in enforcing mining laws at Tokwae. 

He said the CMS was an initiative of government to restructure the small-scale mining sector and ensure that environmentally-friendly mining methods were followed.

Mr Jinapor indicated that the government had so far purchased about 100 mercury free gold catchers to assist the operations of the various CMSs across the country.

Nana Eyim Kum Nipa II, Omanhene of Gyadam, expressed gratitude to the government for the initiative which would offer job opportunities to the teeming youth in the area.

He pledged the support of the chiefs and other traditional leaders in promoting safety and enhancing security in the operations of the scheme.

Chief Executive of the Asante Akim South Municipal Assembly, Alexander Frimpong, said that the initiative was welcoming for the youth who have toiled for years to secure jobs.

He said the Assembly was in discussion with the ministry and the various traditional councils to make available lands for the establishment of more CMSs in the area.

Mr Jinapor said the assembly was working with security agencies to deal with illegal mining, and warned persons involved in such activities to stop. 


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