PRESS STATEMENT ON ALLEGED ILLEGAL MINING IN THE OFFIN RIVER
The attention of the Minerals Commission has been drawn to a video on social media
about alleged illegal mining in the Offin River. The Commission wishes to assure the
general public that the matter is being investigated and swift and ruthless action will be
taken to deal with this and any other such illegal activities. Our resolve is resolute and
Within the last two years, Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural
Resources (MLNR) and the Commission, has introduced several measures to deal with
illegal mining, popularly referred to as “galamsey”. These measures include the
introduction of Operation Halt II, engagement with relevant stakeholders, revamping of
the Community Mining Scheme, geological investigation of designated areas to identify
mineralized areas to be allocated to small scale miners, the distribution of one hundred
(100) mercury-free equipment to ensure responsible mining and the inauguration of
District Mining Committees to monitor and supervise small scale operations. All
enforcement mechanisms as well as intelligence gathering have been enhanced on all
Furthermore, to effectively deal with illegal mining in water bodies, the MLNR recently
commissioned five (5) speed boats which have been handed over to the Ghana Navy to
patrol Rivers Ankobra, Pra, Offin, Birim and the Black Volta. This is to ensure permanent
patrols on the water bodies as a way of preventing illegal miners from returning to mine
in our waterbodies.
The Commission wishes to reiterate its call to the media and the general public that the
fight against illegal mining should be a collective effort of all citizens. In this regard, the
Commission encourages all and sundry to support it by making available any
information on illegal mining activities such as the video in circulation, and such leads
will be acted upon with dispatch and integrity.
The Commission wishes to assure the Ghanaian public of its unflinching commitment to
the fight in sanitizing the small scale mining sector.
MARTIN KWAKU AYISI
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
MINERALS COMMISSION OF GHANA
ZAMBIA DELEGATION VISITS MINERALS COMMISSION
A 4-member delegation led by the Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Mr. Paul C. Kabuswe has paid a day’s working visit to the Minerals Commission, Ghana to study their operations especially in the Small-Scale and Artisanal mining sector.
Welcoming the entourage, the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi remarked that, there is a historical antecedent to the relationship between the two countries since Kwame Nkrumah and Kenneth Kaunda’s era, therefore it’s no strange for the Minister to choose Ghana and for that matter the Minerals Commission as their point of studying the management and utilization of minerals resources and more importantly the Small-Scale mining in Ghana.
Mr. Ayisi walked the Minister and his entourage through the mandate of Commission and how it regulates the industry in Ghana, the robustness of the system when it comes to mining laws and the compliance regime which some African Countries like Sierra Leone and Tanzania have adopted.
He further noted that, Ghana has highly skilled mining professionals who are among the most sought after in the global mining industry. “Our public Universities also provide dedicated courses in minerals and mining and the Minerals Commission complements this with competency-based continuous training and development programmes for our mining professionals” he emphasized.
A presentation on the management of Ghana’s Small-Scale Mining was delivered by the Director, Small-Scale & Industrial Minerals of Minerals Commission to the delegation.
The Zambian Minister of Mines on his part expressed satisfaction of the visit as it has afforded the delegation the opportunity to share ideas and learn more about Ghana’s mining sector and the regulatory regime especially.
He was hopeful these new experiences shared by the Commission will go a long way to help his Ministry to incorporate new ideas in developing their minerals resources development agenda. “Zambia has a lot of manganese and it’s one of the best in the world” says the Minister Kabuswe. According to Mr. Kabuswe, there is the need to restructure and formulate policies that will enable his countrymen to feel and own the minerals.
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.
Hon. George Mireku Duker (MP), Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources at the Palace of Otumfuo’s Hiahene, Nana Professor Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Chief of Kunsu
Hon. George Mireku Duker (MP), assisted by Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei to commission the Community Mining at Kunsu.
Group picture of dignitaries and Kunsu Community Mine Workers at the ceremony.
Hon. Duker in a pose with the traditional leaders of Kunsu and other dignitaries at the event.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor (MP), commissioning the Tokwae Community Mining, assisted by Nana Eyim Kum Nipa II, Omanhene of Gyadam.
Mercury Free Gold Kacha processing plant being demonstrated by officials from Commodity Monitor at the ceremony.
Hon. Minister and Deputy Minister in a pose with dignitaries and Tokwae Community Mining Workers