The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has said that the Community Mining Scheme, a novel mining model by the government to curb illegal small-scale mining in Ghana, will create 16,000 direct jobs nationwide.
The scheme will stimulate wealth creation, promote community involvement and linkages with other sectors of the economy.
Speaking at the launch of the scheme at Nsiana, in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, the Minister gave the assurance that the programme would ensure that Ghana’s natural resources are properly exploited.
“I assure you that my ministry is committed to working with all stakeholders in the mining industry to ensure that minerals in the country are efficiently exploited,” the Minister said.
So far, the Ministry has issued 55 mining licences to some communities. They include three licences issued in Abosso in the Western Region, while Nsiana, Manso and Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region have been granted 22 licences.
Tinga in the Savannah Region has also been granted with six licences, while Akoase in the Eastern Region and Mempehia in the Ahafo Region have, respectively, been granted 17 and seven licences.
The Community Mining Scheme is a novel mining model introduced by the Akufo-Addo government to address the underlying causes of illegal mining, otherwise known as ‘galamsey’, nationwide.
It is largely seen as the surest way of involving indigenes in mining ventures lawfully within their localities so that they can also benefit from their natural resource endowment, ensure sustainable livelihoods and to prevent the wanton destruction of the environment.
The new policy is an adaptation of mining provided for under sections 81-99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act703).
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said mining of mineral resources, especially gold, play a significant role in Ghana’s economy, adding that small-scale mining, particularly, is a major contributor in that regard.
He cited an instance where the small-scale mining sub-sector contributed 36 per cent of the total gold produced in Ghana.
As provided for within the mining law, the scheme is reserved for only Ghanaians but with emphasis on host mining communities.
To ensure a successful implementation of the scheme, three key strategies have been outlined. They are the formation of community mining oversight committees, adoption of the small-scale Miners Code of Practice and the provision of support services to community miners.