Hon. George Mireku Visits Shama, Charges Stakeholders To Ensure Sustainable Mining

Hon. George Mireku Visits Shama, Charges Stakeholders To Ensure Sustainable Mining
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I led a team from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Minerals Commission on a day’s working visit to Shama District.

The purpose of the visit was to engage stakeholders in order to regularize the exploitation of industrial Minerals in the district.

My delegation was well received and led around the entire engagements by the Hon. Ebenezer Dadzie, Shama DCE and Hon. Samuel Ericsson Abekah, MP for Shama.

As part of my engagements:

1. I paid a courtesy call on the Acting President of the Shama Traditional Council and Chief of Yabiw, Nana Kwamena Wienu II to seek his blessings & inform him of the visit’s intent to regularize clay mining in Shama.

Nana Kwamena Wienu II in his speech, made a passionate appeal, asking the Ministry to do all we can, to help them optimize gains in the exploitation of clay to the maximum benefit of the district in a responsible and sustainable manner.

In her speech, the Acting Queen Mother of the Traditional Council and Queen mother of Nyankrom, Nana Gyanfuaba, thanked my outfit, for embarking on such an important tour in Shama.

She made a request, asking the Ministry to help them secure an office space for the Administrator of Stool Lands within the district.

2. Meeting with the District Security Council (DISEC) at the Shama District Assembly, where I admonished them to exercise the full force of their powers to flush out illegal clay miners within the district.

I urged them to support the course of the Ministry and the Government to regularize the Sand and Clay Mining Industry which is the major mining activity in the district.

3. Meeting with the Leadership of Sand, Clay and Quarry Operators.

I admonished them to shy away from illegal exploitation of the mineral and access the necessary licenses to operate legally & responsibly.

Among the numerous challenges facing them, I stated the-now digital online application of mineral rights by the Minerals Commission will make acquisition of licenses very easy and faster.

I further indicated government’s commitment to support them with mining equipment.

It was very worrying to realize that, almost all clay and sand mining activities in the Shama district are not licensed. Worse of it all, is that, registered tiles manufacturing companies in and around Shama are buying the illegal commodity.

I charged the Miners, to, as a matter of urgency, seek the necessary licenses and certifications to undertake their operations in comformance to the Minerals and Mining Act 2006, (Act 703) and its related regulations.

The Miners indicated that, this is the first time a Minister responsible for Mining has met them, and they are very committed to adhere to all procedures to Mine.

4. Visited some mined out areas at Daboase Junction and it was very appaling, seeing lands degraded without being reclaimed, which has flooded and led to some deaths.

I reiterated Government’s commitment of making mining attractive and outlined some interventions that has been rolled to curb illegal mining.

I seized the opportunity to inform the Miners of government’s efforts to support their operations through a Mineral Development Unit at the Agricultural Development Bank in the interim.

This step, is to help mitigate the influx of Foreign Nationals in the small-scale mining architecture through financing models.

The Ministry will liase with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to help convert the abandoned mined pits into Fish ponds, which will help minimize the dangers that these pits impose on the community.

This in my view, will help create an alternative Livelihood for the teeming youth.

Special thanks to Deputy CEOs of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Samuel Tika and Ms. Shirley Kyei, Mr. Peter Awuah, Technical Director of Mines and other officials who accompanied me on the tour.