The Government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), has intensified the fight against illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) by adopting technological innovations to monitor mining equipment and concessions.
To that end, government has developed a digital portal known as “Medaase Mining Ghana”, which has QR Code detailing the location and sizes of each mining concession nationwide.
Additionally, Government would from January next year, fix tracking devices on all mining excavators with the Minerals Commission’s situational room monitoring the movement of the excavators.
Mr George Mireku Duker, a Deputy Minister in charge of Mines at the MLNR, who announced this at a media briefing in Accra, to update the public on Government’s fight against illegal mining, said any mining excavator that moved out of a mining concession would be de-activated unless a tangible explanation was given before re-activation.
As part of efforts to halt gold smuggling in Ghana, government has also developed a system for tracing every gold produced in the country.
The Deputy Minister, said every gold ore produced in the country would be enclosed in a container with special seals from the gold smelter and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC) before export.
On funding the operations of small-scale miners, Mr Duker said Government had asked the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to set up a Minerals Development Unit to provide funding for miners while effort was underway to establish a Mining Development Bank in the future to support activities of small-scale miners in the country.
He said Government had also established six schemes nationwide to provide livelihoods to local mining communities.
The schemes, located in Mbampehia, Tarkwa, Kwabre-Nuba, Jakobu, Adukrom and Akyem Abaam in the Western, Ashanti and Eastern regions, had so far, provided 21,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs to small-scale miners.
Mr Duker stated that all the Commodity Mining Schemes were under the supervision of the District Mining Committees and were supposed to ensure daily administration of those schemes for sustainable and responsible mining practices.
He said they were to set up health posts, changing rooms, fabricated structures, and First Aid centres in all the mining schemes for professional administration while an Operational Manual had been unveiled to guide their operations.
Meanwhile, a special operation carried out by the Southern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces from December 4 to 7,2021, under “Operation Halt II” resulted in the arrest of 26 suspects, destruction of 265 illegal mining items, a motorbike and 22 mobile phones.