The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has reiterated the need to ensure responsible exploitation of the country’s mineral resources.
The minister, speaking at the Bongo-Soe Community Mining Scheme (CMS) launch at Bongo-Soe, in the Upper East Region, observed that exploiting natural resources must not be in a manner that destroys the environment. This, he explains, is particularly imperative as government continues to clamp down on illegal mining activities while regularising the small-scale mining industry.
More than 3,000 residents are in line to gain employment following the CMS launch.
He was upbeat that operations of the Bongo-Soe Community Mining Scheme will help boost economic activities and provide direct and indirect jobs to the people of Bongo and its environs.
Mr. Jinapor noted that the northern part of the country is blessed with rich mineral deposits, citing the operations of mining companies such as Cardinal Namdini Resources and Perseus Mining, among others.
While mistakes of the past are being corrected through responsible and sustainable mining, he said, government will continue to revamp the sector by raising local giants in the small-scale mining industry.
Against this background, he said the Community Mining Scheme is an ideal way of achieving this vision. The CMS, he said, will create employment in the area and improve the people’s livelihoods.
The minister however cautioned that all guidelines and requirements in the Community Mining Scheme should be religiously adhered to, adding government will not hesitate to revoke the licence of operators found going contrary to measures stipulated in the manual.
He, therefore, urged the Scheme’s management to work effectively with stakeholders in the area, including local authorities and traditional leaders, to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.
For his part, the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, assured that they will implement all measures contained in the CMS manual. He also encouraged the residents’ commitment to the project so it can succeed.
The Paramount Chief of Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Atamaale, is optimistic that the mine will provide much-needed employment in the area. He also added that mining should be done within the confines of the law.
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