Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has expressed optimism that the proposals, ideas and suggestions from the National Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining will form a workable blueprint to tackle illegal mining activities.
He said to implement solutions and recommendations from the Dialogue, it would require holistic and collective national efforts anchored on integrity of action to halt the ‘galamsey’ menace.
Addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the two-day Dialogue in Accra, on Wednesday, Mr Jinapor said it would require candid and collaborative efforts by government and Ghanaians in general to manage issues pertaining to illegal mining in the country.
The Dialogue is to ensure a broad-based consensus and a workable blueprint to promote sustainable mining practices to stem illegal small-scale mining.
The participants are, therefore, expected to engage in honest conversation devoid of partisan politics and parochial interests to find workable solutions to the menace.
The Dialogue brought together key stakeholders in the mining industry including the Ghana Association of Small-Scale Miners, Ghana Chamber of Mines, chiefs from the 16 regions, members of the Council of State, members of the National House of Chiefs, and Former Ministers of Lands and Natural Resources.
Heads of state institutions, representatives of political parties, civil society organisations and captains of industry are also attending.
Mr Jinapor said after every presentation, the plenary would have the opportunity to deliberate on the content.
That would clearly spell out how to effectively regulate the small-scale mining industry and mobilise finances from banks and financial institutions to support exploration of mineral resources for the benefit of the state and her citizens, he said.
Also to be focused on are how to court support from chiefs and mining communities, how to deal with the involvement of foreign nationals in the small-scale mining sector and provide alternative livelihoods for those who would fall out, and ensure enforcement regime without fear or favour.
Participants would discuss how to name, shame and punish politicians, chiefs, religious leaders and people with money and influence, who promoted criminal cartels in the small-scale mining sector, Mr Jinapor said.
They would also discuss whether or not it would be appropriate to introduce medium scale mining in Ghana, similar to what pertained in other African countries.
“We, from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, wish to assure the President of the Republic, participants at the forum, and mother Ghana, that whatever set of measures that will emanate from the deliberations over the course of the next two days, if approved by government, will be implemented diligently, dispassionately and with a great sense of integrity and urgency,” Mr Jinapor said.