Second Edition of Responsible Small-scale mining awards Launched
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor on Friday 9th September launched the second edition of the Responsible Small-scale mining awards in Accra. The award ceremony which first took place in December 2021, is meant to reward responsible small-scale miners who adhere to responsible mining practices that comply with the health, safety, and environmental standards of the small-scale mining in the country.
Highlighting the contribution of the small-scale mining sector to job creation and national economy, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor noted that the sector is also bedeviled with unacceptable practices which have debilitating consequences on the environment, land scape, forest cover and water bodies. He however made it clear that the government is not against small-scale mining but rather illegal small-scale mining. According to the Minister, interventions such as national and regional dialogues, Operation Halt, the community mining scheme, the procurement and commissioning of mercury-free gold processing machines and National Alternative Livelihood Programme are some of the measures the government has put in place to curb Illegal small-scale mining in the country.
The Minister reiterated the government’s commitment in sanitizing the small-scale mining sector not only by clamping down on illegal small-scale mining, but also promoting and encouraging responsible environmentally sound and legal small-scale mining, hence the awards scheme.
This year’s award ceremony is due to take place in December and would see an expansion in the number of awardees. The award categories for this year’s event are: Best Female Small-Scale Miner; Best Male Small-Scale Miner; Best Small-Scale Miner in Environmental Stewardship; Best Small-Scale Miner in Corporate Social Responsibility; Best Gold Exporter; Best Metropolitan/Municipal or District Chief Executive; and Best Traditional Leader. The Minister added that these categories cover all the key stakeholders required to build or construct a viable, responsible small scale mining industry.
The winner of the maiden edition Daakye Mining Enterprise was rewarded with a mercury-free processing equipment – Gold Kacha.
Also present at the launch were the Deputy Minister responsible for mining, Hon. George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister in charge of lands and forestry, Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio and the Vice president of the Ghana Small-scale Miners Association among others.
On behalf of the Ghana Small-scale Miners Association, Mr. Godwin Armah, the General secretary of the Association gave the concluding remarks at the event by commending the government for the initiative, highlighting the importance and prestige ascribed to the award scheme towards promoting sustainable small-scale mining.
He also appealed for support from the Ministry in fighting illegal mining on the Birim river, a project the Association in collaboration with University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) seek to achieve before the 2023 edition of the award scheme.