The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources says it will award the Best Traditional Leader and the Best Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive, who have exhibited exceptional efforts in fighting illegal small-scale mining within their jurisdictions at the 2022 edition of the Responsible Small-Scale Mining Awards.
This follows the expansion of the awards scheme to cover more stakeholders in the small-scale mining industry to recognise their invaluable contributions to the fight against “galamsey”.
Launched the second edition of the Responsible Small-Scale Mining Awards.
The maiden edition of the awards was held in December last year, which saw Daakyi Mining Enterprise, a mining company located at Wassa Gyapa, Amenfi East District of the Western Region, emerging as the overall Best Small-Scale Miner and received a Mercury-free gold processing machine worth over $100,000, a plaque, citation and a certificate.
The awards scheme also awarded the Best District Inspector of Mines.
The awards were instituted by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and supported by the Ghana National Small-Scale Mining Association to recognize and acknowledge industry players that are complying with regulatory and operational requirements.
This year’s awards slated for December will witness the awarding of the Best Female Small-Scale Miner, Best Male Small-Scale Miner, Best Environmental Stewardship Miner, Best Corporate Social Responsibility Miner and the Best Small-Scale Gold Exporter.
Mr Jinapor said the awards scheme formed part of the government’s effort to sanitise the mining industry and make it more attractive.
He urged all stakeholders in the small-scale mining sector to work closely together to help promote sustainable mining practices to safeguard the environment and protect lives.
He thus underscored the need for a conscious effort to promote legal and responsible small-scale mining in Ghana.
He said the Akufo-Addo’s Government was not against small-scale mining and, thus, recognised the sector as one of the key pillars of the country’s income sources and would continue efforts to sanitise it.
He noted that although the sector had been bedevilled with many challenges with adverse consequences on the country’s water bodies, landscape and forest cover, it contributed up to 40 percent of the country’s gold output
Therefore, he said, the government was very mindful of the importance of the sector towards the socio-economic development of the nation and would ensure it was managed well.
He also recounted several measures the government had instituted to curb the menace, saying; “Some of these measures include the national and regional dialogue, Operation Halt, the reformative efforts we are making through the Community Mining Schemes, the Mercury-free gold processing machines”.
The Minister, however, pointed out strongly that despite all those measures, the Ministry deemed it necessary to also reward and promote responsible small-scale miners and recognise them to serve as a motivation to others.
Mr Godwin Armah, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Small-scale Miners Association, in his remarks, thanked the Government for introducing the awards scheme and believed that it showed the seriousness it attached to the small-scale mining sector in ensuring responsible and sustainable mining practices.
He urged the government to ensure fair and transparent allocation of mining areas that had undergone geological investigation.
He said the Association had begun a campaign to fight illegal mining on the Birim River and appealed to the government to support the initiative to get rid of illegalities on the river.
The small-scale mining awards scheme was the brainchild of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, which seeks to celebrate those who adhere to the health, safety and environmental standards guiding the mining operations.