Government says it is committed to ending illegal mining with the establishment of small-scale community mining schemes.
According to Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, illegal mining generally occurs in abandoned shafts or within improperly closed mines.
He said government will implement intermediate and permanent measures to manage these sites and coordinate long-term monitoring systems.
The negative impact of illegal mining is visible across the country; manifesting in deforestation, water pollution and the destruction of livelihoods.
The use of toxic chemicals such as mercury and cyanide to extract gold, contaminates rivers and soil.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Small-Scale Community Mining Scheme at Atwemanso in the Ashanti Region, George Mireku Duker reiterated government’s commitment to fighting the menace with the establishment of the schemes.
“Galamsey has been in existence for years, even before I was born but it’s the government’s vision and efforts to ensure that we sanitize the sector. So we’ve put in place measures such as the small scale community mining that will help put a stop to this canker,” he started.
According to him, the establishment of the scheme is to create job opportunities for the youth.
“In my constituency, one community mining that we have is taking on board about 5,000 (people). With this at Atwemanso, we are year marking 2,000 job opportunities for the youth,” he added.
District Chief Executive, Clement Opoku Gyemfi believes the establishment of the scheme will go a long way to help curb the canker.
“The establishment of government’s small scale-community mining will go a long way to help us as a mining community. These are some of the things government is doing to help curb the menace and surely it will stop,” he stressed.