The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kweku 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 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 added.
He noted that the 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, according to the Minister, is an adaptation of small-scale mining as provided for under sections 81-99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), 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."
He disclosed that "the Scheme has the capacity to create meaningful employment (for large numbers) in the rural and host communities across the mining areas."
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, 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 the Minerals Commission as well as the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.