The government has launched an innovative and responsible small-scale mining initiative in Banko, a town in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
Endorsed by the World Bank and mining experts, this module aims to create employment opportunities for 2000 men and women in the region.
The Banko Community Mining Scheme (CMS) was officially launched on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, with the presence of George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, alongside traditional authorities and other government officials.
During the launch, Mr. Mireku Duker, representing the Sector Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor, revealed that the government is fully committed to the success of this project. Logistics and personnel support will be provided by the government to ensure the scheme’s smooth operation.
As part of their efforts to promote responsible mining practices, the government has procured a number of mercury-free machines to aid in the recovery of precious minerals, with one such machine allocated to the Banko CMS.
To ensure environmentally friendly operations, regional officers, a geologist, and a mining engineer will be assigned to the concession to oversee operations and minimize adverse effects on staff and the environment.
During his speech, the Deputy Minister reiterated his concerns about illegal mining and warned that those found engaging in such activities will face severe legal consequences upon apprehension. He urged the local chiefs and residents to play their part in fighting illegal mining, emphasizing that they have the authority to arrest individuals involved in such unlawful practices.
Mr. Mireku Duker, who is also the lawmaker for the Tarkwa-Nsuaem constituency, expressed optimism that the Banko township and nearby areas will experience significant development following the implementation of the Community Mining Scheme.
Mr George Obeng Takyi, the Member of Parliament for Manso Nkwanta Constituency, hailed the project as a great initiative that will alleviate poverty and unemployment in the region. He urged his constituents to refrain from illegal mining activities and emphasized the importance of protecting Ghana’s valuable resources.
The Banko Community Mining Scheme is the third of its kind in the Amansie West District and brings the total number of CMS concessions in the country to 22. With the support of the government and various stakeholders, this responsible mining approach is expected to have a positive impact on the local community and contribute to Ghana’s sustainable development.