The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Mines, Hon. George Mireku Duker has commended the chiefs, elders and residents of Asunafo in the Atiwa West District of the Eastern Region for their commitment to the protection of the environment, particulally the Atiwa Forest.
Hon. George Mireku Duker noted that government is impressed with the initiatives taken by communities to safeguard the environment.
Inaugurating the Asunafo Community Mining Scheme on behalf of the Sector Minister on Thursday, 7th July 2022, Hon. Mireku Duker extolled the role of traditional authorities in the setting up of the scheme.
He appealed to them to continue playing their role as custodians of culture and resources and help the government in its quest to maximize revenue and encourage Ghanaian participation in the mining sector.
He reminded the gathering that contrary to assertions elsewhere, H. E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo holds highly the role of small scale mining in the growth of the country.
He said that the government has set out to raise local giants in the mining sector and view the small-scale mining architecture as the perfect platform to achieve the set objective.
The Deputy Minister indicated that the scheme will operate on an operational manual which dictates the health and safety conditions that must be adhered to at all times.
“President Akufo-Addo is not against mining but all for responsible mining. You’ve done well to protect the forest and we urge you to continue”.
“We’ve been briefed that the mining activities here has the blessing of the chiefs and we believe you’ll adhere to the rules and regulations. We want to follow all the health and safety measures. We have the backing of the law to close down the concession in case of such things. We’ve developed an operation manual for the concession”.
“We’ve sat down with the chiefs and all stakeholders and the Asunafo Community Mining is the only licensed scheme here”, he pointed out.
He said, South Africa have used gold to develop their cities and it’s a vision of the President that we create Ghanaian champions in the industry. It’s our target within the next five years that only Ghanaians will participate in community mining.
Hon. Mireku Duker added that there will be constant supervision by geologist and personnel from the Minerals Commission as well as capacity building programs to equip the members of the District Mining Committees with the knowledge and resources to discharge their mandate.
On his part, the Zambian Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Hon. Paul C.C. Kabuswe who is in the country with his delegation to familiarize themselves with Ghana’s mining regime said the community mining scheme is a great module worthy of emulation by his country.
He was full of praise for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the various interventions employed to restructure Ghana’s mining sector.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Seth Acheampong recognized the works of government in improving the lives of Ghanaians.
He welcomed the Community Mining Scheme in the region and described it as a laudable initiative that will create decent jobs and help improve livelihoods of the people in the area.