March 3, 2022

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has hinted that his ministry is looking forward to rolling out 50 community mining schemes across the country this year.

He said these community schemes would ensure responsible community mining that is fit for purpose with environment officers on site, with mini clinic, or first aid post, changing room and has a proper database for all the miners and most importantly their operations are run on  environmentally sound manner.

According to him, his deputy minister responsible for mining, George Mireku Duker is working day and night to ensure the successful implementation of a viable and sustainable community mining schemes to create jobs for the teaming youth of the country.

“We will continue to pursue the concept of responsible community mining and indeed roll out-out 50 community mining schemes across the country this year”, he stated.

Community Mining

Government in its quest to finding solution to environmental degradation as a result of illegal mining popularly referred to as galamsey rolled out the Community Mining Scheme as a substitute for illegal small scale mining with the aim to providing members of the community the opportunity to engage in responsible, viable, sustainable and environmentally-sound mining for the benefit of the community.

In 2020, twenty (20) Community Mining Schemes were commissioned in fourteen (14) mining Districts across the country.

However, the Minister said lack of vigilance, led to an abuse of the Scheme by some operators.

The Minister answering who was answering a question from Mr. Daniel Ohene Darko, MP for Upper Denkyira West on the efforts being made by the ministry to ensure the operationalization of the Community Mining Programme  again stated that “In 2021, we revamped the Community Mining Scheme, and we have, since, reformed and clarified the legal and policy framework of the Scheme, to provide a clear pathway for responsible and sustainable small scale mining with community ownership, We have, therefore, working with the Minerals Commission, developed an Operational Manual, setting standards and guidelines which all Community Mining Schemes must meet, and/or comply.

He said the overall objective of the Operational Manual is to ensure that Community Mining Schemes, operate in a safe and healthy environment, and that the, operations, are sustainable and environmentally sound.

 Among its requirements, all Community Mining, Schemes must 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 core processing area, with a mercury free ore processing equipment.

The Ministry, through the Minerals Commission, is investing, in the mercury-free ore processing equipment, known as “the Gold Katcha.” Already, we have procured hundred (100) of these equipment, which we are giving to Community Mining, Schemes across the country.

“Mr. Speaker, since revamping the Scheme in 2021, nine (9) Community Mining Schemes, with a total of thirty-three (33) concessions, have been commissioned in Mmaapehia, Kwabre-Nuba and Tarkwa in the Western Region; Adukrom, Jacobu, ‘Tepa, Tokwae and Kunsu in the Ashanti Region and Akyim Abaam in the Eastern Region. These nine (9) Schemes, are expected to create about forty-six thousand three hundred (46,300) direct and indirect jobs. Our commitment, is to commission fifty (50) well-managed community mining schemes by the end of the year. We will, however, insist that all Schemes meet the minimum requirements set out in the Operational Manual before commissioning.

As part of measures to effectively manage these Schemes, we have, in accordance with section 92 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 I9O (Act 703), begun inaugurating Small Scale Mining Committees in the various mining Districts, to assist the Minerals Commission in the monitoring, promotion and development of responsible and sustainable small scale mining operations”.

Dominic Shirimori/