The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker has revealed plans by the government to establish 50 community mining schemes by the end of 2023.
The Deputy Minister says the initiative forms part of efforts to end activities of illegal mining.
According to him, illegal mining activities that occur in abandoned shafts and improperly closed mines will be tackled by the government.
He was speaking at the commissioning of three community mining schemes in the Ashanti Region.
The Minister has also explained that the Community Mining Scheme (CMS) concessions are expected to create a combined 7,500 job opportunities.
Delivering a speech at the ceremony on behalf of the sector Minister on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, he said the Manso-Nkwanta and Moseaso-Abransie CMS concessions will create 4,500 and 3,000 direct and indirect jobs respectively.
The Minister said 7500 employment opportunities which will be opened to residents of the two communities and their environs will add to the more than one million jobs created for Ghanaians in the small-scale mining industry.
The Deputy Minister juxtaposed the over one million jobs to the paltry 30,000 jobs offered by the large-scale mining sector, questioning the stance taken by a section of the public against the small-scale mining sector that has historically created socioeconomic doors for Ghanaians.
Whiles touting the lasting and beneficial impact of the Community Mining Scheme as a key tool in eliminating poverty in mining communities and creating local giants in the mining industry, the Deputy Minister rallied the chiefs and people of Manso-Nkwanta district and Ghanaians, in general to stand up against mining activities which are inimical to the country’s water bodies and the environment.
Commending the two companies for developing structures which are indicative of their willingness to adhere to the dictates of the CMS manual, Hon. Mireku Duker hammered on the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence between the companies and the communities as “ingredients necessary for successful operation.”
He implored on the firms to undertake various developmental projects in the respective communities and play their role in the growth of the community. This, he reckons, will lead to lasting peace and unity between the companies and the chiefs.
Mr. Mireku Duker leveraged on the platform to condemn illegal mining activities along the Black Volta, stating that measures are already in motion to weed out the miners and protect the river.