The current rush for gold along the Elmina beach and its environs in the Central Region will soon be over.
This is due to the low grade of the mineral, which was found to be O.78 grammes per tonne of soil gathered, making it unprofitable for the ‘galamsey’ activities to continue, as pertains in the hinterland.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr Ben Aryee, made this known at a seminar organised in Koforidua on Monday by the Newmont Akyem Project, with support from Savanna, a non-governmental organisation.
It brought together about 50 media practitioners in the region who were schooled on mineral activities and how to report on them in the media.
According to Mr Aryee, although ‘galamsey’ operators had for the past two weeks “besieged” the Elmina area prospecting for gold, they would soon abandon their activities because of the very low grade of the mineral.
He, however, did not rule out damage to the coastal environment due to the activities of the ‘galamsey’ operators and called for concerted efforts to protect the area.
“Although many ‘galamsey’ operators have invaded the area, it is not profitable for them to continue with their activities. But it will take a little bit of time for them to know that for them to discontinue with their activities,” he stated.
With regard to the granting of licences to Ghanaians to go into mining, Mr Aryee expressed regret that some Ghanaians who obtained the licences sold them to foreigners and called for an end to that practice, since foreigners were not allowed to engage in that business.
He said his outfit would continue to ensure that mining operations in the country conformed to laid-down rules and regulations. A senior legal officer and resource person at the seminar, Mr Hiroshi Ogata, took the participants through the legal issues associated with mining, while a General Manager of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, handled the communication aspect and advised journalists to always consult experts on mining before making information on the subject public.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Birim North, the operational area of the Newmont Akyem Project, Madam Mavis Frempong, was grateful to Newmont for living up to its social responsibility by providing a number of social amenities for the affected communities.
In an address read on his behalf, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Ebenezer Okletey Tei Larbi, asked Newmont to pay serious attention to the environment and its corporate social responsibility to make the Birim North District a model mining district in the country.
Earlier, the Head of Communications of the Newmont Akyem Project, Mr Oduro Kwarteng Marfo, had given the assurance that his outfit would continue to partner the Birim North District Assembly, the chiefs in the area and the media in all their activities to advance the development of the district.
Source: Daily Graphic
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