A two-day transformational dialogue on small-scale mining has ended at Fiapre in the Sunyani West Municipality of the Bono Region, with an emphasis on sustainable extraction of mineral resources to enhance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A 23-point communique, signed by Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), organisers of the programme, said the Paris Climate Agreement and other targets needed to be achieved by 2030 might be missed if solutions were not found to the challenges posed by artisanal mining activities.
The communique, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the event formed part of the University’s 10th anniversary celebration and served as a platform for multi-stakeholder engagement to develop solid, scientific and technological capacity to address the challenges.
It stressed the need for regular multi-integrated stakeholder consultations rather than the usual top-down approach and advised the Government and policy makers to formulate policies and rigid laws to properly regulate the sector.
It said small scale miners must be organised to form local conglomerates that could operate like large-scale miners in the shortest possible time and suggested that government allowed small-scale miners to self-police and hold their leadership responsible.
The communique proposed the identification of only licensed agents as the exclusive sellers of gold produced by the artisanal small-scale miners and that professional geologists and mining engineers must be attached to each licensed small-scale miner.
It urged the Minerals Commission to encourage the exploitation of other minerals such as phosphate and “dimension blocks” to reduce the pressure on gold mining in the country.
It called for support for government’s effort to prohibit illegal mining (Galamsey) and ensure export under fair trade regulations to increase foreign exchange inflow from the international market.
The communique cited challenges encountered by the artisanal and small-scale miners to include poor implementation of the mineral laws of Ghana, interference by politicians, inadequate resourcing of the regulatory agencies and poor collaboration among the regulators, who sometimes appeared to be in competition.
The dialogue was 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.”