Samuel Abu Jinapor said that small scale miners must be treated with respect because they contribute significantly to Ghana’s economy.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources said small scale mining needs a cautious approach the challenges plaguing the sector must be addressed.
He said that based on available statistics, small scale mining contributes 40% of Ghana’s local gold produce.
In view of this, he admonished that even though illegal mining (galamsey) has unfortunately crept in the small scale mining sector, efforts to eliminate ‘galamsey’ must be carried out in a manner that does not affect proceeds from the sector.
He said “A good deal of work has gone into this matter of small scale mining; and we have been dealing with this matter from a two-pronged approach. From a reformative approach and the law enforcement approach; which is that, while you’re enforcing the law, you must also put in place a regime that makes that sector sustainable”.
He continued: “Let’s always remember that small scale mining contributes 40% of Ghana’s gold output. And the gold industry gives Ghana its highest foreign exchange earning, and it’s the highest revenue mobilising sector when it comes to export.
So there’s a link between small scale mining, gold output, our national economy, our currency, our foreign exchange status and all of that, so when you’re dealing with small scale mining, you have to deal with it tactfully”.
The sector minister also added: “You don’t want a situation where you also roll out an enforcement regime that literally kills the sector completely, which will mean you’ll lose income which will jeopardize your economy”.
In this regard, he stated that his outfit has taken note of all the previous suggestions on the issue, and will continue to work with stakeholders to address the challenges.