Prof Frimpong Boateng (left) chats with Sulemana Koney (right) and Kwame Addo Kufuor (middle).
Government says it has begun processes to stop illegal mining which is destroying water bodies in the country at an alarming rate.
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who disclosed this, said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was unhappy about the illegal mining activities in Ghana’s mining space and has set up a committee to find solutions to the problems.
He said this when members of the Ghana Chamber of Mines paid a courtesy call on him in his office recently.
“Sadly the Ghana Water Company Limited can’t even treat the water destroyed by the activities of ‘galamseyers’ no matter what amount of alloy is put in the water. We can’t sit for our waters to be destroyed.”
Kwame Addo-Kufuor, President of the Chamber of Mines, in his remarks, bemoaned the activities of illegal miners, stating that the production of cash crops, especially cocoa, is at a major risk as illegal miners invade and destroy farm lands.
Use of Mercury
Ghana is a signatory to the Minamata Convention on Mercury Control, which is meant to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. And the Convention enjoins governments to implement measures to control mercury emissions and releases to land and water, as well as the regulation of the informal sector of artisinal and small-scale gold mining.
Unfortunately, Mr. Addo-Kufuor said the reckless use of mercury by illegal miners continues unabated across the country.
“It must be noted that their operations do not only affect our environment but also creates credibility issues for the country,” he said.
Mr. Addo-Kufuor said the Chamber was willing to collaborate with the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources and Water & Sanitation to institute innovative measures to protect the environment.
He, however, gave assurance that the Chamber was committed to responsible mining in the country.
Kwame Addo Kufuor was accompanied by Alfred Baku of Gold Fields Ghana; Sulemanu Koney, CEO of the Chamber; Dr. Koduah Dapaah, HSE Manager of Chirano Gold Mine; Charlotte Senyo Tay of Newmont Ghana Ltd and Ahmed Nantogmah, Director, External Relations and Communication of the Ghana Chamber of Mines.
By Cephas Larbi