The small scale miners are saying they are fully in support of the roadmap by government to lift the ban on small-scale mining because of its ability to promote responsible mining in the country.
At a news conference in Accra, the Director of Operations at the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM), Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi said they will continue to engage and support government to go through the roadmap smoothly by offering their creative ideas to ensure that their members go back to work.
He noted that inspite of the untoward hardships visited on them by the 18 months long ban on small scale mining, they have not been detracted from their focus of engaging and supporting the government to find a lasting solution grounded in self-regulation.
Whiles they express satisfaction with the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) for ending the “soon soon” mantra by launching the Roadmap, Mr. Antwi urged government to speed up the process to quickly lift the ban for activities to thrive in the sector.
According to him, the sector has seen some positive gains during the ban period evident in the restoration of some river bodies that were polluted by illegal dredgers.
Ready for License Vetting
Mr. Antwi posited that they have requested their members and Licensed Miners in general to make available their mining documents and any other documents that GNASSM on their various platforms to ensure a smooth and fast vetting and verification of licenses by the Vetting Committee of the IMCIM.
On the affixing of tracking devices to mining equipment, he appealed to government to bear the cost of transporting the equipment to a centralized location as directed by IMCIM.
“Alternatively, GNASSM would like to propose to government to affix the tracking devices to the equipment owned by its members and licensed miners in general at their various mining sites during the vetting process, as this would ensure that we cut the cost of the transportation of the equipment to and from the proposed centralized location,” He intimated.
He emphasized that some of it members and licensed miners do not use excavators at all and so could not be part of this process.
Self-driving Test for Responsible Mining
Mr. Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi posited that their self-regulating/self-policing drive of the small scale mining industry will promote a peer to peer review mechanism through the use of their stakeholders “coordination mechanism” platforms to encourage and enforce internationally acceptable responsible and sustainable mining practice.
He indicated the use of technology to monitor and capture critical compliance, mining and production matrices for future data driven decision-making in the small scale mining sector to ensure the use of internationally acceptable responsible mining practices and standards, which data would be leveraged to create “a better domestic responsible and sustainable mining standards.”
According to him, the Association will embark on a campaign and resource support project to encourage majority of our members if not all to produce ecological gold (gold mined and produced without the use of harmful chemicals) for a better premium in the world market.
Mr. Antwi posited that they will use Mine Management Committees and compliance officers to monitor the activities and compliance of its members in the mining site.
“We will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Minerals Commission to streamline our self-regulation drive and Code of Practice for Miners,” he opined.
Community Watchdog Continua
He noted that the Association will use the district and national task forces as a mechanism for enforcing laid down mining laws and regulations in the country.
Mr. Antwi added that the team will remove and prevent illegal dredgers (“to to”) from our water bodies and illegal miners from our forest reserves.
He concluded that the Association has engaged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to use mobile app easy collection and payment of taxes from small scale mining operations in the country.