Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Vice Chancellor, Delivering His Address during the Durbar
The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) on Thursday, 2nd June, 2022, celebrated the 2nd edition of the Sustainable Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) Awareness Day on the theme ‘Ensuring Responsible and Sustainable Small-Scale Mining Sector in Ghana: Our Shared Responsibility. The celebration took place in the Kumasi Metropolis with a road show through some principal streets of the Metropolis to create awareness on the need for sustainable and environmentally friendly methods in small scale mining, and was climaxed with a grand durbar at the Prempeh Assembly Hall, Kumasi. The Minerals Commission gave a heartwarming support for the success of the programme.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Richard Kwasi Amankwah, in his address, lauded the leadership and members of GNASSM for their collaboration with UMaT for the celebration. He also commended the Minerals Commission for their support.
Prof Amankwah stated that the University of Mines and Technology had undertaken four major steps to support sustainable small-scale mining practices and urged members of GNASSM to adopt safe and environmentally friendly practices, follow guidelines regarding acquisition of licenses from the Water Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, and reclaim mined lands because mining without reclamation is a threat to humanity. The four steps include the institution of ASM Radio School on the University’s FM Radio Station to sensitise the general populace and small scale miners in particular, on sustainable practices. He added that 12 modules including Legal Framework - how to acquire a small-scale mining license, Environmental Regulations in Small-Scale Mining, How to Find Gold on the Concession, Best Practices in Small-Scale Gold Extraction, Solid and Liquid Waste Management in Small-Scale Operations and Safety Issues in ASM had been taught through the radio school.
The Vice Chancellor stated that UMaT has instituted the Small-Scale Mining School on campus to offer face to face training to small scale miners and will soon start a model Small-Scale Mining to serve as example for best small-scale mining practices. Again, the University has established the Small-Scale Mining Hub which deals directly with the small scale miners and offers various technical advice to them. Prof Amankwah added that UMaT has come up with a technology that could be used to clean polluted rivers and emphasised that, given the needed funds, the University could clean Rivers Pra and Birim.
Prof Amankwah called on the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to adopt the Small-Scale Mining Awareness day as part of their yearly activities. He further noted that the United Nations could adopt the day for worldwide recognition.
A Section of Participants during the Durbar
The Director in charge of Small Scale Mining, Minerals Commission, Mr Nelson Ahedor acknowledged the contribution of small scale mining and stated the readiness of the Minerals Commission to release demarcated lands for small-scale mining. He stated that it is necessary for small-scale miners to follow laid down regulations and adopt sound practices.
Mr Godwin Armaah, National Secretary for GNASSM stated that Government, in a bid to streamline the activities of small-scale miners introduced a policy in 1989 to help provide employment for the youth and also absorb excess labour to be retrenched as a result of the Structural Adjustment Programme. It was this policy that regularised the activities of small-scale mining. He emphasised that total gold production by small scale mining rose from an estimated 2.2% in 1989 to over 35% of national production in 2021. He further stated that production of all diamonds in the country comes from small-scale mining and that, the sector employs over 1 million people directly.
Mr Armaah also acknowledged some significant improvement in the acquisition of licenses with the introduction of the Minerals Cadastral Administration System and called for concerted efforts to overcome challenges like land use conflicts, lack of capital, poor environmental stewardship among others.
The durbar was chaired by Mrs Judy Nakuor Crayem, Chief Executive Officer, Rapport Services, Board Member, Minerals Commission, and a member of the Joint Steering Committee for Small-Scale Mining, Minerals Commission.
The celebration was attended by Togbe Ewusi III, Afife, Volta Region, Mr Tiika, Deputy CEO in charge of Small-Scale Mining and Industrial Minerals, Minerals Commission, Hon Charles Acheampong and Hon Darkowaa Newman, Members of Parliament.
Prior to the celebration on 2nd June, a quiz competition was held for basic schools in the Amansie West and South District on Sustainable Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining. It was won by the Koninase Nkran D/A JHS in the Amansie South District.
Teachers and Pupils of Koninase Nkran D/A JHS in a Pose with the Vice Chancellor
The Road Show
Some Participants During the Road Show
Source: University Relations Office