UMaT Hosts a West African Regional Training Workshop on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

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A Group Picture of the Participants
A Group Picture of the Participants

A 4-day West African Regional Workshop on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining has been held at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa on the theme “Making your business thrive through sustainable artisanal small-scale mining practices”. The Workshop which was organised in collaboration with Australian Aid through the Australian High Commission in Ghana, the University of Queensland, Australia, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UMaT, brought together 32 participants from Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

This was a 4-day capacity building workshop with the aim of equiping artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) to adopt sustainable mining practices in their operations and to support the ASM representative associations and civil servants to offer extension services to miners. The workshop demonstrated key concepts and facilitated regional knowledge exchange in areas such as environmental management, social responsibility in the mineral supply chains, environmentally friendly techniques for geological resources estimation in artisanal small-scale mining, improving entrepreneurship skills and formalising ASM business entities.

Prof Kuma Delivering His Address at the Welcome Reception
Prof Kuma Delivering His Address at the Welcome Reception

At a welcome reception held at the Hotel De Hilda in Tarkwa for participants and organisers, the Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the organisers and especially the Australian High Commission for recognising the contributions of the University of Mines and Technology in the training of Mining Engineers and Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners in the Sub-Region and for asking UMaT to host such an important Workshop. He indicated that the theme for the Workshop was apt and timely because according to him after the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo announced a bold decision by his Government to sanitise the small-scale mining sector, UMaT took a strategic position to assist the sector and, therefore, brought to the fore her expertise to contribute to finding solutions to the many challenges facing the sector. As a result the University had so far trained some 4,628 small-scale miners with support from the Government since 2017.

Mr Glen Askew Delivering His Speech at the Reception
Mr Glen Askew Delivering His Speech at the Reception

The Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Glen Askew, indicated that the High Commission was excited to be co-operating with the Government of Ghana to combat illegal mining in the country. According to him it was possible to build sustainable mining practices in the country. Prof Daniel Franks, from the University of Queensland, Australia, one of the collaborators of the Workshop also indicated that the artisanal small-scale mining sector was an influential and impactful sector that needs capacity building to understand the role of minerals in development and that the participants had been brought together to learn to make mining practices better in order to improve small-scale mining in the sub-region.

Present at the Ceremony were the Hon George Mireku Duker, the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency, Dr Muza Gondwe, Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance, Mr Louis Marechal, Policy Advisor - Extractives, OECD and some staff of the University.

Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Head, University Relations Office

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