The government in conjunction with the Bank of Ghana is going to start a deliberate gold purchase programme that will target purchasing gold from the small-scale mining sector.
The purchasing of gold from the small-scale mining sector follows some persuasion of the Central Bank by the government.
Making the assertion at the Responsible Small Scale Mining Awards held in Accra, the Vice-President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, stated that the gold purchase program will boost the small scale mining sector as well as build the country’s gold reserves.
“All too often, our problem solving turns to focus more on chasing and punishing wrongdoers and not recognising and rewarding those who do right and this is what makes this award different.
“The award recognises players in small scale mining sector who despite the temptation to join the wrongdoing bandwagon, have decided to stay within the relevant regulatory framework for the country and to operate responsibly,” he stated.
He further stated a number of ways that Ghana has benefited from small scale mining over the years, touting that he believes small scale mining has contributed immensely to Ghana becoming the leading Gold producer in Africa.
”As we all know, Ghana’s gold production has increased significantly over the past few decades making it the leading gold producer in Africa. The contribution of small-scale Mining to this trend is commendable. Currently, it is estimated that the small scale mining contributes about 35% to Ghana’s total gold production and 35% is huge,” he added.
Dr Bawumia, also called on the miners to mine responsibly to help save the environment and the country’s natural resources, regardless of the many advantages of small scale mining.
He also commended the effort of the Natural Resources Sector Ministers stating that, after their assumption of office, the country has seen a renewed approach to the process of ending galamsey through diverse initiative.
The Vice-President commended highly the efforts of the Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor and his two Deputy Ministers for their leadership of the natural resources sector. He sighted an example of how the Minister made a passionate plea for the 3% withholding tax being paid by gold producers to be slashed down to 1.5%.
He also congratulated the winners of the categories of Awards, indicating that the award should motivate other miners to do their jobs and also keep the environment safe while mining. He went on to applaud the organisers of the programme for working tirelessly to achieve such a great feat for the mining sector and for Ghana.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abu Jinapor in his welcome address disclosed that in the coming year, the Ministry will continue to pursue measures that are necessary to restore sanity into the small-scale mining industry.
In furtherance of this, he said they have already engaged ADB Bank to establish a Minerals Development Unit at the Bank, which is to provide financial support to small scale miners. Adding that the initiative is expected to be rolled out early next year.
The Minister further intimated that as Community Mining Scheme remains one of the surest ways of tackling illegal mining, they will continue to promote the Community Mining Scheme to serve as a model for all small-scale mining operations.
The Minister gave the assurance that the Ministry will ramp up its regulatory efforts and continue to partner with the leadership of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners to weed out recalcitrant, illegal miners out of the industry, whilst encouraging and supporting genuine legal miners who have no regard for the environment.