More than 2,000 residents of Adankwame and surrounding communities in the Antwima Nwabiagya South District of the Ashanti Region are in line to benefit directly from the launch of a new Community Mining Scheme in the area.
The scheme covers 500 acres of land, according to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, would engineer growth and development in the community and adjourning towns.
Inaugurating the scheme here at Adankwame yesterday, he said the Community Mining Scheme programme was an initiative of the government to enable the youth in mining areas engage in the small-scale mining business.
Per the country’s mining laws, the initiative, he said, was tailored for only Ghanaians with the objective of empowering Ghanaians to invest in the mining sector.
“Our laws on mining provide that only Ghanaians are entitled to partake in small-scale mining and that government has taken the initiative to ensure that the sector serves as platform to empower the youth,” Mr Duker stated.
He said the government, as the custodian of lands and natural resources, had outlined processes and conditions to enable all interested Ghanaians acquire license to undertake any mining activity.
The Deputy Minister warned that anyone found to have acted in contravention of the laws would be dealt with accordingly.
As part of the supervision, he said, that experts from the University of Mines and Technology (UmaT) would be deployed to monitor and ensure mining activities at the concession were in line with laid down standards and practices.
The government, he noted, had entered into an agreement with the World Bank for the training of industry players to ensure that responsible mining methods were duly followed.
On illegal mining, he warned miners engaged in such practices to desist from it as the government was in the process of intensifying military operations and other deterrents to stop people from using harmful chemicals such as mercury and equipment for mining activities.
Emmanuel Agyei Anhwere, Member of Parliament of Antwima-Nwabiagya South bemoaned the illegal mining activities in the area and charged the chiefs and youth to work together to end the canker, which threatened their very survival.
He asserted that the Community Mining Scheme was specifically designed to replace the galamsey practice adding that alone could not protect the environment without their support.
“I urge you to carefully think about the devastating impact of galamsey on the community and its threat to the future of the community and the country at large.
We must work to bring it to an end. It must stop. Let’s all embrace the Community Mining Scheme to create employment for ourselves and protect the environment,” Mr Anhwere said.
Nana Appiah Kantankata, chief of the area, commended government and assured that the community would support the project to achieve the intended results.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS
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