Govt Ensuring Proper Regulation In Northern Mines

Samuel Abu Jinapor

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor says the government is committed to regulating the emerging mining sector in the northern parts of the country so that the harnessing of the resources would commensurate with development there.

According to the minister, they are being proactive to avoid a repeat of the development curse associated with extractive sector.

Some areas in the northern parts of the country have become buoyant with mining activities, with both small and large scale operations currently ongoing.

For instance, Cardinal Resources is currently undertaking preparatory works towards establishing one of the biggest mining operations in Talensi, at the heart of the Upper East Region, while Earl International Gold (GH) Ltd has obtained the necessary permits to commence large scale underground rock mining in the same region.

There is also the exploration of iron ore in Sheini, in the Northern Region, significant deposits of gold in Dollar Power, a border town in the Savannah Region, and illegal small-scale mining activities in Nagroma in the North East Region.

The minister gave the assurance in the Upper East Region as part of his one week tour of the five regions in the northern parts of the country.

Speaking at a meeting with small-scale miners association in Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region, Mr. Jinapor said, “Mining activities have become rampant in the north. The conventional wisdom was that, mineral deposits were only found in the south, but as we can see now there are significant proven resources in the north as well. If we do not begin enhanced regulation, we will lose the opportunity.”

He said “the lessons of the mining industry in southern Ghana ought to guide our actions in the north and government will not relent to ensure enhanced regulation. River-bodies and the integrity of the ecosystem in this part of the country must at all cost be preserved.”

He said the institutional, legal and operational framework for the sector should be fit for purpose and capable of dealing with all emerging challenges.

Peer Regulation

The minister asked small-scale miners in the Upper East Region to engage in regular peer regulation to help bring sanity in the sector.

“By peer regulation what I mean is that you regulate one another. When someone is doing the wrong thing, you draw the person’s attention and call the person to order.

“At the level of the association, let the association be strong so that you have proper leadership, there is command, there is control and well apportioned roles,” he stressed.

He said “this is an infant mining industry in this Upper East Region and it’s still in its evolution stage and my dream is that we work together so that industry will become beneficial to the population here in the Upper East Region.”

Mr. Jinapor also asked the miners to work closely with the Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu and the Minerals Commission to properly regulate and sensitise the sector, in order to prevent further illegal mining activities in region.

From Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga