The Minerals Commission says it will commence the monitoring of community mining activities to clamp down on the pollution of water bodies and some forest reserves.
There have been reports of heavy pollution of the Offin and Pra Rivers due to the use of mercury by artisanal small scale miners; a situation partly due to the absence of mechanisms by the Minerals Commissions to monitor community mining activities.
In in order to curtail the situation, a new green mining technology which is zero-mercury and uses little water for gold extraction, has been introduced for use by artisanal small scale gold miners. The technology also recovers about 90 percent of gold.
Speaking at this year’s Ghana Gold Expo in Takoradi, Board Chairman of the Minerals Commission, S. K. Boafo, told Citi Business News the Commission will fulfill its monitoring responsibilities soon.
“We’re supposed to regulate it. In fact, we have the legal mandate, but the Inter-ministerial task-force which was created has oversight, which is a temporary measure. But I believe that with the new things in place which will come into fruition within three months of this year, we will take over. We have already set aside almost five thousand or so areas to give to these people, but you go there and sometimes you find someone claiming to have a secretariat entirely different from ours, although we already have district satellite stations and trained wardens and all that in place; so that’s what has caused the delays”.
This year’s Ghana Gold Expo focused on promoting responsible mining through zero mercury following the dangers of mercury pollution from the operations of artisanal small scale gold mining.
This even becomes more worrying as the Minerals Commission which regulates mining activities, is currently not inspecting the operations of the Community Mining since the required processes have not been completed including the establishment of Community Oversight Committees.