A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, has urged small-scale miners to observe safety protocols at the mine sites to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He also tasked them to adhere strictly to all environmental practices to ensure the mine areas are clean and disease-free.
The Deputy Minister said this when he launched the Community Mining Scheme for Obuasi Municipal, Adansi North, and Amansie Central at a ceremony in Adaase on Wednesday.
He said that the Government did not intend to collapse mining, but to strengthen it, hence the launch of the programme to create jobs.
The Deputy Minister called on traditional leaders to collaborate with other stakeholders to make the community mining initiative a success.
The Community Mining Scheme, a novel mining model by the government aimed at curbing illegal small-scale mining in the country, which is expected to create 16,000 direct jobs nationwide.
The Scheme would stimulate wealth creation, promote community involvement, and linkages with other sectors of the economy.
So far, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has issued 55 mining licenses to some communities.
This includes three licenses issued in Abosso in the Western Region, whilst Nsiana, Manso, and Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region have been granted 22 licenses, Tinga in the Savannah has been granted with six licenses, Akoase in the Eastern Region with 17 licenses and Mempehia in the Ahafo Region with seven licenses.
As provided for within mining law, the scheme is reserved for only Ghanaians, but with emphasis on host mining communities.
To ensure a successful implementation of the Scheme, three key strategies had been outlined; such as the formation of a Community Mining Oversight Committees, adoption of the small-scale Miners Code of Practice, and provision of support services to the community miners.