The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has launched a Community Mining Scheme (CMS) for the Birim North District and Asante Akyem South Municipal Assemblies.
Speaking at the joint launch of the CMS for the two communities on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the forecourt of the New Abirem fire service, the Minister stated observed that “mining, especially of gold, plays a significant role in the economy of Ghana and small scale mining is a major contributor to this.
“In 2019, the small-scale mining sub-sector contributed 36% of the total gold produced in Ghana,” he said.
He noted that Community Mining Scheme, is a novel mining model being introduced by the NPP government to address some of the underlying causes of illegal mining (popularly known as galamsey), within the mining communities throughout the country.
The Scheme is an adaptation of small-scale mining as provided for under sections 81-99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), according to him, adding that “It is yet another innovative policy initiated under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration which is aimed at providing members of mining communities the opportunity to engage in lawful and meaningful mining ventures and ensure sustainable livelihoods for the beneficiaries of the Scheme.”
“As provided for within small scale mining, the Scheme is reserved for only Ghanaian citizens but with an emphasis on host mining communities,” he stated.
He said “Simply put, the Scheme is of the people, by the people and for the people of the community.”
He stated that “Scheme has the capacity to create meaningful employment (for large numbers) in the rural and host communities across the mining areas.”
“It will further enable community involvement in mining in answer to the legitimate desire by host communities to participate in the mining industry value chain,” he noted.
According to him, the Scheme will create horizontal, vertical as well as other linkages with the other sectors of the economy.
The Minister indicated that the Scheme will create a total of 7,500 jobs made up of 5,000 direct and 2,500 indirect jobs in Birim North and Asante Akyem South.
He reiterated that to ensure a successful implementation, the Minister reiterated that key strategies have been infused into the Community Mining Scheme.
Among the strategies, he said, were the formation of a Community Mining Oversight Committee, adoption of the Small-scale miners code of practice; and provision of support services to the community miners.
In attendance at the launch were traditional leaders, the Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem South Constituency, Kwaku Asante-Boateng; MP for Abirem Constituency, John Osei Frimpong; DCE for Birim North District Assembly, Remond Damptey, and Alexander Frimpong, MCE for Asante Akyem South Municipal Assembly; officials of th Minerals Commission as well as the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.