Minerals Commission  signs responsible mining MoU with Solidaridad

The Minerals Commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding  (MOU)  with the Solidaridad West Africa to promote responsible mining practices in small-scale gold mines.

The MOU is to formalise an ongoing relationship with Solidaridad to support licensed small scale gold mining companies to operate responsibly.

Solidaridad, is an international Civil Society Organization with almost  50 years of global experience in facilitating the development of socially responsible, ecologically sound and profitable supply chains.

The organisation has been implementing a ‘Gold Programme’ in Ghana since 2012. The overall objective of the programme is to improve the livelihoods of small-scale miners and communities around them.

In order to achieve this, Solidaridad works with small-scale mines with the aim to improve environmental protection building better relationships using the ‘Fairmined Standard’ for gold as a tool.

The Fairmined Standard is an international voluntary standard for gold that promotes responsible business practices such as formal and legal mining operations, human rights, labour rights and environmental protection, health and safety among others.

In the next four years, Solidaridad will be implementing projects aimed at improving the livelihoods of small-scale miners by promoting responsible mining practices; assisting in the development of mining communities, facilitating access to technical and financial services for small scale minesrs and  engaging with various stakeholders in the small scale mining sector to help find policy solutions to land issues in the sector.

The Minerals Commission as a result of its role of regulating and managing the utilization of the mineral resources of Ghana and the co-ordination of the policies relating to them will assist Solidaridad in the implementation of its Gold Programme.

Speaking at the brief signing ceremony in Accra, the  Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr Toni Aubynn said that provisions in the MOU will only be beneficial if they are implemented.

Thus he promised that the Minerals Commission is committed to ensure that the thrust of the MoU is achieved.

He thanked Solidaridad for the opportunity to collaborate with the Commission to ensure that the developmental benefits of small scale mining are harnessed.

On his part, the Regional Director of Solidaridad West Africa,  Mr. Isaac Gyamfi noted that with Solidaridad’s experience in building the capacity of small scale miners to mine responsibly, he is confident that if small scale miners in Ghana are exposed to the right health, safety and environmental standards, they will be able to mine responsibly without having negative effect on the environment or on the health and safety of its workers.

He said, “ together we can work to ensure that small scale gold mining preserves the environment and improves the livelihood of mining communities”.