Policies In Small Scale Mining Intended To Boost Sustainable Economic Dev’t – Abu Jinapor

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Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor

Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has said policies initiated by the government for Small-Scale Mining (SSM) were intended for the sector to operate and contribute to sustainable economic development and nation-building.

He said though the contribution of SSM was by no means small, it had the potential to contribute even more if undertaken within a framework to promote sustainable development.

According to him, the Government was not against SSM which was done within the laws governing its best practice, because the subsector had the potential to spur growth and catalyse transformation of the economy, if well-organized.

”But the practice whereby the sector is bedeviled with wanton illegalities and destruction of forests resources, wildlife, water bodies, aquatic life among others must stop because it is a threat to our existence as a country’ he said.

Mr. Jinapor said this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a Transformational Dialogue on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Ghana, organised by the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) at Fiapre in the Sunyani West Municipality of Bono Region.

The two-day dialogue, on the theme “Enhancing Multi-Stakeholder Approaches towards Addressing Challenges with Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, and the Institutional Dynamics for Sustainable Practices in Ghana” formed part of the university’s 10th anniversary celebration this year.

Mr Jinapor said it was estimated that close to one million people involved in illegal mining and its associated activities were stopped and displaced through the activation of Operation Halt II Exercise, but the Government had initiated the Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programmes (AELPs) for the socio-economic survival of affected persons.

He explained, the AELPs provided alternative livelihoods for those displaced and equipped other people living in affected mining communities with employable skills to improve their livelihoods.

Mr. Jinapor said “the AELP is promoting green and clean mining and in line with the Minamata Convention is to procure some 300 more Mercury-Free Goldkachas processing equipment for SSM operators.”

He revealed the World Bank supported the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP) which would be launched shortly to complement government’s effort to identify areas geologically viable for SSM and increase the reclamation of mined out areas.

On her part, Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister said statistics showed gold accounted for majority of the country’s mineral revenues and the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sub-sector if properly managed had the potential to build community bridges, provide alternative livelihood opportunities to the youth of mining communities during off farming seasons.

”It has demonstrated the potential to generate direct and indirect local jobs and its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was enormous ”, she added.

Mad Owusu-Banahene commended the academia and non-political persons for initiating the discussion on small scale mining and therefore urged regulatory and statutory bodies to champion the discourse to help achieve the desired result through the implementation of a holistic plan to safeguard the environment.

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