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24.08.2005 General News

Chamber of Mines calls for land use management plan

GNA

Accra, Aug. 24, GNA - The Ghana Chamber of Mines on Wednesday called for the development of a land use management plan to enhance efficient utilisation of the country's resources.

Such a plan should divide the land area into management units and also determine areas where mining could be accommodated so as not to destroy the forest cover.

Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, told a press briefing that the plan must also make sure of how mined areas would be reclaimed for future use.

She said because all development activities had land use implications there was always conflict between mining and other land use activities.

Currently, less than two per cent of the entire landmass of Ghana is under active mining.

Ms Joyce Aryee said the mining companies were alive to their environmental responsibilities and were adopting ecologically responsible mining by using modern equipment. They were also sensitive to environmental restoration to create arable land and healthy water systems in the process of minerals extraction.

The companies have developed procedures to eliminate or mitigate the impact on the environment within and outside the concession. Besides paying attention to safety of employees, protection of the environment, transparency and ethical practices the mining companies were also strongly committed to the respect for human rights in their operational areas, she said.

"The mining industry is very much aware that it is only through responsible social behaviour and due consideration for the environment, its employees and the host communities that it will obtain the indispensable social licence necessary for sustainable mining operations," she said.

In that sense, no mining company will deliberately undertake activities that will impinge negatively on the freedom and human rights of host communities.

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