About 70,000 direct jobs are expected to be created in the Bekwai Municipality, the Adansi Asokwa District and the Adansi South District, all in the Ashanti Region, through community mining.
In addition, 30,000 indirect jobs will be created when all community mining or small-scale mining concessions in the areas become fully operational.
In all, a total of 120 concessions, covering an area of 3,000 acres, have been released by the National Minerals Commission to small-scale miners in the three districts.
Speaking at the launch of the community mining programme in the Ashanti Region, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, cautioned the miners not to involve foreigners in their operations.
He said community mining or small-scale mining was the sole preserve of Ghanaians and as such foreigners, irrespective of their origin, were not allowed.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said community mining was instituted for all Ghanaians, mainly residents of various communities where gold would be mined in a sustainable manner in order to curb the activities of illegal miners and the wanton destruction of the nation’s water bodies and forest reserves.
He thus called on the concessionaires to abide by their code of ethics and ensure that they reclaimed the land after mining.
He also advised them not to stray into areas that had not been allocated to them and further appealed to the district assemblies and traditional authorities in the districts concerned to closely monitor activities of the small-scale miners in their areas.
He said to ensure that the miners mined sustainably, they were taken through small-scale mining studies at the University of Mines in Tarkwa where they were taught basic skills in mining and land reclamation.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Mineral Commission, Mr Martin Ayisi, urged all those interested in mining to go through the right processes for acquiring a licence before venturing into the sector.
He said the launch of community mining should not be misconstrued to mean legalisation of ‘galamsey’ or illegal mining.
He said every concession must be approved by the commission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and consented to by the district assembly and traditional authorities.
In his welcome address, the Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Bekwai, Mr Kwaku Kyei Baaffour, advised the people, who intended to mine, to ensure that they reclaimed the land after mining and adhered to all the regulations guiding the sector to ensure that the lands were not degraded.
He said it behoved the miners to ensure that the lands were protected and the water bodies were clean.
On behalf of the districts, he pledged the readiness of the assemblies to monitor the activities of the miners and ensure that they complied with all the regulations governing the sector.
Source: General News