Govt Buys 100 ‘Gold Katchas’ For CMS

Samuel Abdulai Jinapor

THE MINISTRY for Lands and Natural Resources, through the Minerals Commission, is investing in mercury-free ore processing equipment, a requirement for community mining schemes (CMS).

Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, sector minister, who revealed this, said his outfit has procured 100 of the mercury-free ore processing equipment, known as “Gold Katcha,” for all community mining schemes across the country.

According to him, community mining schemes must also have a general office, a mini-clinic or first aid post, wash rooms, changing rooms, storage facilities for hazardous materials, potable water storage facility, and ore processing area, with mercury-free ore processing equipment.

“Mr. Speaker, we are determined to make the community mining scheme the model of small-scale mining, not only in our country, but also across the continent, and we will not stop short of anything to achieve this goal,” he told Parliament yesterday, while responding to questions on the floor.

He stated that the CMS was rolled out by the government in 2019, as a substitute for illegal small scale mining, and it is aimed at providing members of the community with an opportunity to engage in responsible, viable, sustainable and environmentally-sound mining for their benefit.

In 2020, a total of 20 CMSs were commissioned in 14 mining districts across the country, while in 2021, it was revamped after government reformed and clarified the legal, policy and operational framework of the scheme, to provide a clear pathway for responsible and sustainable small scale mining with community ownership.

The minister said the ministry, in collaboration with the Minerals Commission, had developed an operational manual, setting standards and guidelines which all CMSs must meet, and/or comply with.

“The overall objective of this 32-page operational manual is to ensure that Community Mining Schemes operate in a safe and healthy environment, and that their operations are sustainable and environmentally-sound.”

“It explains in simple terms, the policy objective of the Community Mining Scheme, the requirements and procedures for acquiring a licence to operate a community mining scheme or mine support services,” among others, he said.


BY Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House