Multilateral Mining Integration Project Laudable - ASMAN
The Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Africa-Network (ASMAN) has lauded the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Peter Amewu for the launch of the project -Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP) – which seeks to sanitize the small scale mining arena.
“This Project will be a holistic approach to combat illegal mining and relies on more than just militants and combat actions in mining communities. In fact, MMIP combines Legislations Enforcement Civil Integration and Technical Approach (LECITA) as a sustainable and structured but regimental conjoint concept which will encompass multi stakeholders,” the Minister stated.
The Executive Director of ASMAN, Nii Adjetey-Kofi notes that “even though activities in the mining sector in Ghana are declining as indicated by Hon. Minister, the international community has this year focused to concretize ECOWAS ASM Regional Forums. The Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) organized "Reducing Mercury Use and Release from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa" in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in February, 2017; and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also organized “Regional Workshop on Best Practices for the Sustainable Development of Small-Scale Mining in relation with Large-Scale Mining” in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in March 2017 respectively. Furthermore the Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance (MEfDA), an Australian Government initiative would be organizing “Investing in West African mining for sustainable Regional Development in Accra, Ghana this April, 2017. Ghana will be fully represented at such forums; from the academia (UMaT); the regulatory bodies (Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency); the ASM Operators (Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners); and civil society (ASMAN and Friends of Nations); which fulfills concerns as quoted President Nana Akufo-Addo during State of Nation Address (SONA 2017).
"Ghana should always take its membership of ECOWAS seriously,
as its viability advances our national interest"
Nii Adjetey-Kofi believes the small scale mining sector interest would best be served through the creation of this Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP); to give attention to the sector concerns as well as focus on policy that will be embedded into a broader rural development strategy to contribute towards Ghana’s poverty reduction efforts as enshrined in the Action plan of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV).
ASMAN is proposing a more extensive stakeholder consultation regarding the introduction of technology in ASM monitoring like fixing tracking devices on the earth-moving excavators and the use of drones to monitor river bodies. This position is informed by our belief that though these are interesting practical suggestions worth considering, the use of drones might help but not yield the expected results. This is notwithstanding the readiness of the Chinese government to support Ghana with the technology to combat the illegal mining menace as articulated by Mr Jiang Zhouteng, Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana.
ASMAN also supports the introduction of plant pool for the small scale miners as stated in the MMIP project proposals. This proposal, though not new as it has been attempted over the years by successive governments, will still need political will to succeed. This plant pool support would eliminate the middlemen/gold diggers in the sector and effectively enhance the introduction of the tracking device on the excavators.
ASMAN surrounding this initiative also supports Government taking a more consultative approach to the regulation and sustainable development of the Artisanal, Small & Medium Scale Mining Industry in Ghana.