Dr Jiangxue Lin, the Coordinator for Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Alumni Conference Ghana, has called for responsible mining across Africa to stem the negative impact on the environment.
She said DAAD, the largest German support organisation in international academic exchange service, was promoting sustainable mining not only in Europe but globally, considering its global impact too.
Dr Lin said this at the opening of a four-day DAAD alumni conference at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, to discuss sustainable mining and the importance of adhering to standards.
It is on the theme: “Sustainable Mining, Natural Resources Awareness and Social Acceptance of Mining.”
Topics to be discussed include; Small-scale mining and Deficient Tailings – Cause of Environmental and Health Hazards, and Geochemical Interactions Study in Surface Rivers.
The participants would also visit Goldfields Ghana Limited to inspect some development projects for the host communities and interact with the residents.
”We decided to promote this concept here in Ghana because we get a lot of resources from Africa and other countries that engage in mining,” she said.
“We do not get only mineral resources in Ghana, we drink coffee and eat chocolate, that is why it’s also very important to come back to Ghana, where these resources are coming from.”
Mr George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, commended DAAD for creating an enabling environment for Ghanaians and African students in pursuit of higher education.
He lauded UMaT for contributing towards the human resource development of Ghana’s mining sector and enhancing innovation through research.
Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, the Vice Chancellor of UMaT, who chaired the conference, appealed to DAAD to establish a Faculty of African Mining at the University.
“I believe that would help us track mining in Africa and situate it properly so that Ghana, DAAD and UMaT can monitor from afar all mining engagements in the African sub-Region and also feed into the policy-making machinery of the World Bank and the United Nations,” he said.
The University now celebrates Small-Scale Mining Awareness Day on 2nd June every year.
“Globally more than 20 million people engage in small-scale mining. In Ghana, we have more than one million people involved in small-scale mining and by the UN statistics, if you have one million people in a venture it means that about five million people are directly affected by that venture,” Prof. Amankwah said.
He said about 20 per cent of Ghana’s population depended on small-scale mining and proposed that a day be set aside for industry players to share ideas on the need to promote responsible mining and protect the environment.