The 32-paged small-scale and community mining operational manual explains what the community mining scheme is, its administration, and an oversight committee to ensure effectiveness. It also explains in simple terms, the procedure for acquiring a mining license and support services.
The Minister believes that Ghanaians must understand the war on “galamsey”, hence the manual.
“Ghanaians must understand and know what they are fighting.
“People are so determined that whatever happens, they will go the extra mile to mine without following regulations. That is why as a ministry, we have also organized this community mining concept, asking them to move out of our river bodies. Come and join the community mining, where it is organized and the government is providing mining machines for you to mine and mine responsibly.”George Mireku Duker, Minister
Honourable George Mireku Duker encouraged all Ghanaians to actively support the fight against illegal mining, also known as ‘galamsey’. He added that all citizens must support and participate in the government’s schemes to win this war.
During a tour of mining sites in the Western Region, Mr. Mireku Duker also asked illegal miners to consider the community mining scheme as a more long-lasting and environmentally beneficial substitute.
The Community Mining Scheme is a model of small-scale mining activities that promotes responsible, viable, and sustainable small-scale mining. The Community Mining Scheme has been supported by the Mine Support Services.
It is expected to create approximately 50,000 direct and indirect jobs. The government has inaugurated about twenty-eight such schemes in several mining districts across the country.
This year alone the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has inaugurated six schemes.
They include the Bongo Soe scheme, the Afransie scheme, and the Atwimanso scheme. The rest are the Manso Nkwanta scheme, Moseaso Abrantie, and the Banko scheme. The total number of direct and indirect jobs created since the inception of the scheme is reportedly over 60,000.
Reports also indicated that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is looking forward to inaugurating more of the schemes before the end of 2023.
In addition, the government has employed mercury-free gold processing machines for small-scale mining to fight the impact of mercury on the environment.
The government commissioned 100 mercury-free gold processing machines for small-scale mining operators as part of continuing efforts to ensure responsible mining and environmental protection.
The mercury-free mineral processing technology will aid the small-scale miners to achieve three basic goals: (1) high tonnes per hour processing (2) mercury-free recovery and (3) high gold recovery.
The “Gold Kacha” can recover 90% plus of gold from the ore, far more than would have been obtained from the traditional method using mercury. The processing method will help reduce the pollution of water bodies and the physical environment.
The Gold Kacha, by Commodity Monitor Limited, a Commodity trading Logistics and research company, is distributed for use at every inaugurated community mining site.
The Government, through the Minerals Commission, spent US$10 million to purchase an initial 100 Gold Kacha machines. Each machine costs $113,000 and the miner is supposed to pay it on a “work-and-pay” basis within a year.
The government by these initiatives seeks to sanitize the sector which has come under public criticisms for destroying water bodies across the country.
Illegal small-scale mining, otherwise known as “galamsey”, has been a thorn in the flesh of the Akufo-Addo government. While the government is seen to be actively fighting it, many Ghanaians have criticized the government for being a significant part of the problem. According to many Ghanaians, the government has shielded its cronies who engage in galamsey from prosecution.