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General News Fri, 20 Apr 2001

Gold production increases in Ghana’s central region

Gold production in the Central Region has increased following the discovery of new mining areas along the Pra River, Apam, Asebu and Winneba and alluvial gold along the beaches of Saltpond and its neighbouring towns.

The Director of Operations at the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), Mr George Asante, made this known on Wednesday at a meeting with members of the Cape Coast and Twifo Praso branches of the Ghana Small-Scale Miners Association (GSSMA) and Licensed Buying Agents (LBAs) in Cape Coast.

He did not, however, give any figures but said more LBAs had, as a result, been engaged by the PMMC "to bring markets to the doorstep of miners".

The meeting also coincided with the presentation of two water pumps and four shovels valued at 8 million cedis to the two associations to assist them in their operations. Mr Asante noted the importance of the new discoveries and the small-scale mining industry in employment generation in the region, and urged the Minerals Commission and related agencies to streamline procedures for granting concessions to enable as many of the youth as possible to take up the trade.

He, however, cautioned members of the association against acts of environmental degradation and charged them to help reduce to the barest minimum the destruction of water bodies and forests and land degradation by evolving safe mining practices.

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Mr Asante further charged them to adhere to modern methods for recovering gold, such as the 'Therm Ex Protector', to prevent their inhaling mercury fumes in the course of their work.

He also cautioned the LBAs to refrain from activities that affect the nation's economy, such as selling gold through unauthorised routes or doing business with illegal dealers.

The General Secretary of the GSSMA, Nii Adjetey-Kofi Mensah, also reiterated the need for miners to help check environmental degradation and urged all the estimated 80,000 small-scale miners in the country to join the association.

He said this would enable them to avail themselves of opportunities to improve their operations as well as have easy access to financial and other assistance.

Mr Abraham Dadzie, a local buying agent, appealed to the Minerals Commission to give permission to members of the GSSMA to undertake beach mining to exploit residual gold deposits located between Abandze and Moree in the Mfantsiman and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese Districts.

Source: GNA
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