The Vice President addressing the people
ABOUT 300,000 miners are billed to be employed in some 100 community mining sites under Government’s community mining scheme by the end of this year.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who made this known, said 20 mining sites, currently are in operation, and that by the end of this year, all the sites will be operational.
He said the government will assist the various community mining sites with the requisite machinery to allow the miners to extract gold without the use of mercury.
“This will ensure that the mineral deposits in the country are mined responsibly devoid of all chemicals and environmental destructions”, he added.
He said the government is also collaborating with key stakeholders and other institutions, including the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa to ensure that most of the machinery needed for the community activities were produced locally.
The Vice President was speaking at this years’ ‘Ghana Gold Expo’ held in Takoradi in the Western region yesterday.
The event was to showcase the region’s mineral resources potential, promote the country’s mining sector to the international community, and build strong partnerships to develop the mineral resources for the sustainable development of Ghana.
He said the gold mining sector continued to remain an important contributor to the country’s economy adding that the sector had provided the largest tax base of the country in the last decade.
He was, however, not happy that mining communities such as Tarkwa, Damang, and Prestea, all in the Western Region, remained underdeveloped.
He said the rise in illegal mining is being fuelled by unemployment.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, also bemoaned the fact that people living in mining areas are not reaping the full benefits of the resources due to the continuous exportation of unrefined minerals.
“Today, Ghana is a leading global producer of gold and the largest producer in Africa, since 2018 and the industry contributes significantly to our economy”.
“However, after centuries of producing gold, we cannot continue to export raw gold. We need a paradigm shift and the time to do so is now”, he noted.
He said, “This is the spirit behind the establishment of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) which are part of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s industrial transformation agenda”.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi