A one- week Pilot Training Workshop for District Mining Committees (DMCs) and selected Small Scale Miners has been held at Tarkwa in the Western Region.
The workshop, organized by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is expected to be carried throughout the country.
Also, it is an ongoing effort towards formalizing Ghana’s artisanal and small-scale mining sector and ensure that they operate within legal frameworks, adhere to environmental standards, promote health and safety, and contribute positively to the socioeconomic development of the communities.
It covered topics such as Mining Policies and Legal Framework, Geological Explorations and Mineralogical Characterization of Ores, Mining Methods and Operations, Mineral Processing Methods, Environment, Social, Health and Safety in Artisanal Small-scale Mining (ASM), ASM Business Management and Administration, and most importantly, Gender Mainstreaming as well as Child Labour in ASM.
George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources indicated that responsible mining, is key to the development of the country.
“Let us work together to create an enabling environment where responsible mining practices can thrive”, he said.
“By formalizing the sector, we can mitigate the negative impacts of illegal mining activities and create a more sustainable and inclusive industry. Through building the capacity of the District Mining Committee’s (DMCs) and Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners, the Government aims to ensure sustainable and best mining practices are upheld” he said.
According to him, government is doing its part to put the mining sector on a sustainable and green path. It is up to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDCEs), the traditional leaders and the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners to also do your part.
He said government resolves to ensure that the District MininDMCs) are adequately trained such that, they aid with the efficient supervision of mining operations in their respective districts.
“As you learn all the basics about mining, please get to the grassroot and do your part to protect the environment for our survival and future generations. The knowledge and skills acquired here will benefit you and ripple out to the broader small-scale mining community as you serve as trainers in the step-down training at the community level.” he said.
Mr. Duker expressed gratitude to the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and the University of Mines and Technology for developing the training manual and materials and organizing the training workshop.
“Your dedication and commitment to promoting responsible mining practices in our country is commendable. Let me also thank the World Bank Group for the financial and technical support that has made it possible for the government to provide this capacity-building training” he added.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister pointed out that the region, contributes to 60% of gold production in the country.
He noted that mining, is everywhere in the country but it has to be done right and responsibly. “Let us learn the best practices to ensure its sustainability; the way the water bodies are polluted and the environment destroyed does not augur well for the industry and the country as a whole”.
He mentioned that some of the illegal mining lands are being restored in the region through the collaborative effort of the Western Regional Coordinating Council and the Small-Scale Miners Association. “Abide by all the principles in mining and implement what is being thought and discussed here,” he said.
Isabella Ivy Kangah, Assistant Basin Officer at the Water Resources Commission a participant who shared her thought on the topics discussed said “I have gotten to know the regulation, licensing and the importance of being legalized as a small-scale miner and getting the necessary permits for the operation”.
She said it is very important for small scale miners to keep records and submit report. “When you fail to submit the report, you will be fined or you can be given a penalty”.
“We went through geological exploration, various mining methods and how to process the ore when you get it. And under the geological exploration, we go to know that most of the time people think most of the alluvial gold are found in the river basin. When you study the history of rivers, rivers actually divert as they move so, the greater amount of gold is found away from the river and not in the rivers. So, this will educate the small-scale to know that there’s no need for them to go into the rivers to fetch our gold while they can go away from it because that’s where they can get a greater amount of gold” she explained.