Hon Alhaji Inusah Fuseini (MP) Sector Minister for??Lands and Natural Resources has??announced that??government was exploring the possibility of establishing a gold village??for the sale of Ghana made coinages, tola bars and assorted jewellry??as part of efforts to maximize the contribution of the small scale mining sector??(SSM) to national development.
??He was confident that the project will provide a major boost for SSM which produced a total of?1.43million ounces of gold (34% of Ghana?s total gold production??in 2012) would go a long way to assist??artisanal small scale miners to operate in a technically, economically and environmentally sustainable manner.
Hon. Inusah Fuseini made the announcement in a keynote address he read at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Ghana Power Breakfast meeting. The event brought together policy makers and other key stakeholders to discuss pertinent issues on sustainable economic development of Ghana and Canada, particularly on how to effectively tackle the problem of illegal mining in Ghana.
Hon Inusah Fuseini??reiterated that government will build on positives garnered from the management of small scale mining sector in the country ? to enhance the development of an efficient, modern and sustainable small-scale mining sector for bth precious and industrial minerals.?
Highlighting details of interventions initiated by government to develop the SSM, the sector Minister explained that measures have been put in place to ensure that geological data on all minerals amenable to small scale miners is made available to prospective miners.
Hon Inusah Fuseini intimated that the licensing regime had also been re-engineered to make it easier for Ghanaians to secure mineral rights while 100 areas totaling over 4,800km had been blocked for?geological investigation??for alluvial and primary deposits for small scale miners. He revealed??that the Jappa area had already been proved to be viable for SSM is being licensed to prospective small scale miners.
?Illegal SSM are being formalized to form co-operatives??to be supported with requisite equipment and working capital, guidelines on health and safety have been developed to train??SSM??in environmentally friendly processing methods and District Mining Committees have also been established??and adequately resourced to provide logistics and assist??in the management of SSM??activities through the provision of appropriate training programmes? said the Hon Minister.
Touching on the dire repercussions of illegal mining, the Sector Minister??emphasized that unsafe mining practices leading to rampart accidents and loss of lives, destruction of forest reserves as well as farmlands cum crops which in turn impact negatively on food security.??He said pollution of water bodies with dangerous substances like mercury and cyanide resulting in myriad of health problems for local communities.