Awarding responsible small scale mining operators

“All too often, our problem solving tends to focus more on chasing and punishing wrongdoers and less on recognizing and rewarding those who do right.”

These were the words of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia when he delivered congratulatory remarks at the maiden “Responsible Small Scale Mining Awards” in Accra.

The award recognizes players in the small-scale mining space who have decided to stay within the relevant regulatory framework of the country and operate responsibly.

Vice President Bawumia indicated that despite its significant contribution to Ghana’s economy, gold mining, especially small-scale mining’s negative impact on the forests, waters and farming has increasingly become a major concern.

Small scale mining, he noted, is not only competing with agriculture for land but is damaging waters and imposing huge costs on water systems.

This, he said, informed the Akufo-Addo government’s decision to re-engineer the governance framework of the sector through diverse interventions in an attempt to sanitize the subsector.

Government, he reiterated, would continue to play its watchdog role in ensuring compliance with the law while working with stakeholders to address the growing complexities in the mining sector.

“As a government the responsibility of being accountable for the stewardship of this sector by ensuring good governance in the exploitation of the minerals resources is not lost on us.

“We will continue to implement policies that will bring about a win-win situation for both government and industry players through effective collaboration with all well-meaning stakeholders like the Ghana Association of Small-Scale Miners,” he assured.

Dr Bawumia commended the small-scale miners and acknowledged their cooperation with government in the implementation of the various interventions.

“Even though some of these interventions have affected you in one way or the other, most of you decided to work with government in streamlining the sector by doing the right thing,” the Vice President added.

“It is, therefore, worthwhile recognizing your efforts for choosing to regularize your activities and continue to apply yourselves well to the obligations imposed on you by your mineral rights.

“I believe the awards will go a long way to motivate you to continue doing the right things when they matter most,” he said.

Bright Kwabena Obeng of Obeng Mining Ventures was adjudged the Overall Best Small-Scale Miner.

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