Lands Minister Commissions Network Control Infrastructure at Mincom
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor (MP) on Thursday, December 8, 2022 commissioned the Network Control Centre for the tracking and monitoring of Earth Moving Equipment and Explosive Trucks situated at the Minerals Commission as part of a working visit to the Commission,
Among the dignitaries present were, the Hon. Deputy Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio in charge of Lands and Forestry, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Board Chairperson, Board members, Prof. Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Vice Chancellor of George Grant University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and Mr. Godwin Armah, General Secretary of Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners.
In his introductory remarks, the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Martin K. Ayisi welcomed the Lands Minister Hon. Jinapor and the dignitaries and informed the gathering that the contract for the Network Control Centre was competitively awarded to UMaT, which designed and deployed the software for the Network Control Centre in line with the Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2431).
In his address, the Lands Minister Hon. Jinapor applauded the exemplary work done so far by the Commission despite the challenges posed by the activities of illegal miners and pollution of some of the water bodies in the country. He stressed that the overarching objective of the Government in the mining sector is to deal with the menace of illegal mining. According to the Hon. Minister, the inauguration of the Network Control facility for the tracking and monitoring of all earth moving and mining equipment is in line with the Minerals and Mining (Mineral Operations – Tracking of Earth Moving and Mining Equipment) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2404).
He said the Ministry has adopted a dual approach of law enforcement and reformation to tackle the issue of illegal activities in the mining sector. He was excited to commission the Network Control infrastructure and said this is part of a gamut of measures put in place to sanitise the mining industry. Hon. Jinapor expressed confidence in the leadership of the Commission’s Board and Management in the fight against galamsey and the regulation of the sector. He tasked the Commission to ensure a nationwide registration of all excavators, earth moving equipment and mining explosive trucks so that the monitoring will be effective.
On her part, the Board Chairperson, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi commended the Minister for his unflinching support to the Commission and enumerated various initiatives being implemented by the Minerals Commission as regulators of the mining industry. She was hopeful that the inauguration of the Network Control Room for tracking and monitoring of earth moving equipment and explosive trucks will go a long way to enhance the regulatory function of the Commission.
The Lead Consultant for the Network Control Centre, Dr. Sylvester Akpah, a Lecturer at the Computer Science and Engineering Department of UMaT, explained that the piloting of the tracking of earth moving equipment and explosive trucks had been successfully implemented and demonstrated the mechanism for monitoring the operations of the equipment and trucks fitted with unique tracking devices. He mentioned that going forward, all the earth moving equipment and explosive trucks will be fitted with tracking devices, mapped to a particular mining concession and geofenced so that once the equipment leaves a demarcated area it will be automatically shut down and only reactivated by the Control Centre. It is the expectation of the Minerals Commission that when this project is fully implemented it will improve the monitoring and tracking of earth moving equipment and explosive trucks and assist in the efforts of Government in dealing with the adverse environmental impact of illegal small scale mining activities in Ghana.