The threat by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to sanction his chiefs supporting galamsey is a positive move, the Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi has aided.
Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show hosted by Dr Randy Abbey on Thursday May 25, 2023, Mr Ayisi said,” The King has threatened to destool some of his chiefs which are positive.”
The discussion centred on small-scale gold mining in Ghana.
Emphasizing the importance of responsible mining, he said small-scale mining can solve the unemployment problems of the country if it is done responsibly.
Figures he mentioned indicated that currently over 3 million people are directly and indirectly engaged in small-scale mining, which is more than the number of people engaged in the cocoa industry.
“Small-scale mining is something that if we do it properly, that is stop going into the water bodies and the forests, it can solve most of the unemployment problems we have in Ghana,” Mr Ayisi told the host of the show.
No need for ban
Making reference to calls by some people for a ban on small-scale mining, the Minerals Commission boss said such calls have no basis.
To him, what is important is to ensure that the wrongs in the system are corrected rather than a ban. ‘I m not defending the pollution of our rivers. I understand the anger because of what is happening to our rivers but if you say ban small-scale mining, what do we do with the 3 million people whose livelihoods depend on the activities?”
“People go out there and on a good day make 50 or 100 grammes, which is about GHȼ 100,000.00. So sometimes we should understand the socio-economic conditions in the rural areas.”
He said no government will develop a policy that will throw people out of their livelihoods
Scale of mining
Mr Ayisi said currently apart from the Greater Accra, Volta and Oti regions, mining activities are taking place in the remaining 13 regions.
“It’s a matter of time that, we might find gold in all regions of the country.”
He said in every small-scale mining site, women outnumber men in terms of direct and indirect jobs.