Obuasi, March 25, GNA – The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, has announced the government's commitment to promote community mining as a means of eliminating illegal mining activities popularly known as ‘galamsey”.
He said the community mining concept could provide the antidote to the wanton environmental degradation being perpetrated by illegal miners across the country.
The Minister stated this in an interaction with workers of the Adansi North Community Mining at Adomanu as part of his two day tour of the Ashanti Region to acquaint himself with the mining sector after assuming office as new sector minister.
He said the operations of community mining were environmentally friendly and must be embraced by all stakeholders to create sustainable jobs for the youth without destroying the environment.
“It is very evident that the way forward to resolving the issue of illegal small scale mining is community mining because this mining site I have come to witness, clearly they are mining sustainably with regard to the environment and making sure that the land is reclaimed,” he observed.
Government, he said, would collaborate with the Minerals Commission to expand the community mining concept throughout the country to create job opportunities for the youth in illegal mining while protecting the environment from destruction.
The Ministry would soon facilitate a national consultative dialogue to come out with a blueprint to regulate the sector with the promotion of community mining as the main strategy to phase out illegal small scale mining, Mr. Jinapor hinted.
He said the President had tasked him to build a viable, sustainable and environmentally prudent mining sector and pledged his commitment to ensure all mining activities were properly regulated to bring sanity to the sector.
He said the President was not interested in collapsing the sector and rendering the teeming youth jobless, but he wants mining to be done in a regulated and licensed environment.
The Minister commended workers at the site for adhering to all the environmental and safety protocols and urged them to be good ambassadors of the concept by encouraging others to do the right thing.