Traditional leaders appeal for reclamation bond for small-scale miners

Traditional leaders appeal for reclamation bond for small-scale miners

Ghana - 04 June, 2021

Some traditional leaders in the Asante Akim Central Municipal and Amansie West District in the Ashanti region are advocating the introduction of reclamation bond in the small-scale mining sector. This they believe will foster the restoration of degraded mine sites and effectively deal with the destruction of lands.

The traditional leaders opined that the reclamation bond system which is currently binding on only large-scale mining companies should be made binding on small-scale mining companies as well with chiefs actively monitoring the reclamation process. They raised the concerns at separate meetings at Manso-Nkwanta and Konongo during a district multi-stakeholder dialogue on mining organized by Tropenbos Ghana as part of its “Securing Food and Ecosystem Services in Mining-Plagued Regions of Ghana” project. The four-year (2018-2022) project is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

The multistakeholder dialogue workshop themed “Sustainable small-scale mining for national development; The role of district and community level stakeholders” brought together traditional leaders, miners, farmers, district assembly representatives, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minerals Commission, and landowners to discuss laws, roles, challenges, and other pertinent issues in the mining sector.

Mr. Christopher Anokye, a member of the Project Advisory Committee for Tropenbos Ghana and A Rocha Ghana, mentioned during the proceedings that although there were adequate mining laws in the country, the government must enforce the laws to address the lapses in the mining sector. He indicated that small-scale mining was critical to Ghana’s economy and also provided employment for over a million Ghanaians. Mr. Anokye disclosed that in the year 2018, the amount of gold produced by the small-scale sector was almost equal to that of the large-scale sector. Mrs. Mercy Owusu Ansah, Director for Tropenbos Ghana pointed out that community members had a critical role to play in sustaining the environment. She warned that reclamation was very expensive and also, mined sites take a long time to regain their health.