President Commissions 100 Mercury-Free Gold Processing Machines
His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on June 6, 2022, commissioned 100 mercury-free gold processing machines for small-scale mining operators as part of Government’s efforts at ensuring responsible mining and environmental stewardship.
Commissioning the machines at the Independence Square, Accra, the President was elated that the mercury-free mineral processing technology will assist the small-scale miners to achieve three basic goals: (1) high tonnes per hour processing (2) mercury-free recovery and (3) high gold recovery.
The technology according to the President, “has the capacity to recover 90% plus of gold from the ore, far more than would have been obtained from the traditional method using mercury.” He also acknowledged the fact that the processing methods of using this technology will help reduce the pollution of water bodies and the physical environment.
The President assured that his government is not against small-scale mining but rather finding sustainable solution to the old age problem of illegal mining and environmental degradation associated with mining in Ghana.
In his welcome address, the sector minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor (MP) assured of Government’s continuous support to the small-scale mining sector. He said “these are few, but many measures to be rolled out by His Excellency, Akuffo Addo’s government to help stop the illegal mining menace in the country. He added that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources have also facilitated the resourcing of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission with several logistics and personnel to perform its regulatory functions. The mercury-free gold processor known as Gold Kacha, is an innovation introduced by Commodity Monitor Limited and comes with components comprising; crusher, concentrator, miller, and smelting system.
MINCOM BOARD ATTENDS A TWO-DAY DIALOGUE ON SMALL-SCALE MINING
A two-day Transformational Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining was held in Sunyani under the auspices of the School of Mines and Built Environment of the University of Energy and Natural Resources. The theme of the dialogue was “Enhancing multi-stakeholder approaches towards addressing challenges with artisanal and small-scale mining, and institutional dynamics for sustainable practices in Ghana”.
The Minerals Commission as part of its drive in bridging the gap between industry and academia was represented at the forum by the Board led by the Chairperson, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, and other officials of the Commission. In her remarks, she echoed the efforts and measures put in place in curbing the menace. According to her, the Community Mining Scheme, which is currently operating in some mining communities, is one of the initiatives being implemented to stop the illegal mining. She noted further that, the Commission in collaboration with the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners have been engaging some commercial banks to provide flexible funding scheme for the Small-Scale Miners to enhance their operations.
The Chairperson assured that the Commission study the communique that will be issued at the end of the dialogue and adopt the points that are found feasible. She said, as a regulator, “we are committed to sanitizing the sector and empower the small-scale miners to mine in a responsible way for growth of the industry”.
Most of the speakers at the dialogue voiced out their displeasure about the negative impact of the environment because of illegal mining menace across the country and the lack of coordinated approach in dealing with illegal mining in the country.
CEO OF MINERALS COMMISSION ADDRESS “GHEITI” 2019 EXTRACTIVE SECTOR REPORT LAUNCH EVENT
The 2019 Extractive Sector (Mining, Oil & Gas) report by the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), has been launched in Accra at Alisa Hotel under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and the GHEITI secretariat.
In his opening remarks as a special guest, Mr. Martin K. Ayisi commended the work of the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and hailed GHEITI for the impact it is making in the extractive sector. He urged the GHEITI Secretariat and the MSG to take interest in the processes and nature of agreements adopted between licensed operators and the government. Siting the mining agreements as an example, he called on GHEITI to court public interest and participation in the processes leading to the signing of these agreements. He further encouraged GHEITI to advocate for the publication of such contracts to enhance transparency and accountability. This he opined is one of the surest ways to protect the public purse and increase revenue to support the country’s development. He indicated that with the amendments to the mining laws in the offing the Development Agreement will be a thing of the past whilst the Stability Agreement has been proposed for a maximum of 5 years. He challenged GHEITI to go beyond mere advocacy for disclosure by institutions to publish agreements, which are the basis for generating government revenue and receipts.
In attendance at the launch was the Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. John Ampontuah Kumah (MP), Mr. Benjamin Aryee, Special Advisor to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Deputy Minister of Energy, Hon. Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam (MP) and GHEITI Champion, and Mr. Philipp Stalder, Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, Togo and Benin.
Mr. Ayisi highlighted the progress made in respect of Local Content and Local Participation and ongoing efforts at enhancing and building the capacity of indigenes to ensure full participation in the mining sector. He further explained that Localization Plans are required of mining companies in respect of the engagement of indigenes. He indicated that the Local Content Procurement List has been increased from 29 to 41 items to broaden indigenes participation in the industry.
GHEITI is the Ghana Chapter of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with the main objective of working with 55 member countries to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive industry (mining, oil, and gas sectors).
The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. George Mireku Duker (MP) has embarked on a working visit to Medie in the Greater Accra Region to inspect 100 mercury-free equipment (popularly called Gold Kacha) which has been procured by the Government through the Minerals Commission as part of the policy interventions to curb the menace of galamsey and promote sustainable responsible small-scale mining operations in the country.
Hon. Duker undertook the visit on Monday, April 25, 2022 and was accompanied by a delegation from the Minerals Commission led by Mr. Joseph Nayan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Support Services) and officials from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
In an interview with the media, Hon. Duker stressed that the 100 Gold Kacha plants are expected to be commissioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on June 6, 2022 when the full complement of equipment procured are delivered. He explained that the mercury-free technology is environmentally friendly and will protect our water bodies, mining communities and the citizenry from the harmful effects of mercury. He stated that the financing arrangement for the purchase and utilization of the plant will be handled by the Minerals Commission as the regulator of the mining industry in the country.
The Deputy Minister emphasized that the green technology would improve the processing and recovery of gold ore from the current 45% to about 90%. He appealed that the activities of government should be supported in the effort at protecting the country’s natural resources for generations yet unborn. He encouraged Ghanaians to venture into responsible small-scale mining in line with the laws of Ghana. He said, “our traditional rulers and elders who are custodians of their respective lands should help government eradicate illegal mining which has become a canker in the mining communities”.
Government, he noted has empowered and resourced the Operation Halt Taskforce to undertake their anti-galamsey duties and warned all persons engaged in illegal mining to desist from it as the full rigours of the law has been activated to deal with any person found to have engaged in galamsey.