Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Tuesday launched the Bongo-Soe Community Mining Scheme (CMS) at Bongo-Soe in the Upper East Region to provide employment for the youth in the area.
The Minister said the northern part of Ghana was endowed with rich mineral resources and called for responsible and sustainable exploitation to benefit the people and the country at large.
The colourful event was attended by Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister and some traditional authorities in the area.
Mr Jinapor referred to some major mining companies in the Region such as Cardinal Namdini Resources and Perseus Mining, which testified about the rich mineral resources, especially gold in the area.
He underscored the need to correct the mistakes of the past and ensure responsible and sustainable exploitation of the resources in the country to benefit the present and future generations.
“President Akufo-Addo’s government is bent on revamping the mining sector and raise local giants in the small-scale mining industry, therefore, the Community Mining Scheme is an ideal way of achieving that objective,” Mr Jinapor stated.
The Minister urged the managers of the Scheme to adhere strictly to the Community Mining Scheme’s manual and warned that the Ministry would not hesitate to revoke the licence if they go contrary to the rules.
“The management of the Scheme must work collaboratively with the stakeholders, including the District Chief Executive and the traditional authorities, to ensure that royalties are paid, local jobs are created and make sure that the overall progress in the area is achieved,”Mr Jinapor stated.
For his part, Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, expressed delight about the launch of the Scheme and believed it would create direct and indirect jobs for the people and improve their standards of living.
He gave the assurance that the managers would adhere strictly to the Scheme’s manual and employ the youth in the area.
The “gold katcha” which was donated by the government will be used for its intended purpose,” Mr Yakubu assured.
The paramount chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Atamaale, on his part, expressed optimism that the Scheme would provide the necessary employment in the area and urged the managers of the Scheme to operate within the confines of the law regulating mining in the country.
The Bongo-Soe Community Mining Scheme is the first to be launched in the Upper East Region.