In Ghana, Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) is a sector with a strong potential not only for poverty alleviation but also for wealth creation. The sector employs over one million people directly and supports about 20% of Ghana’s population. It is an avenue for the development of skills and the growth of indigenous entrepreneurs. The sector accounts for 35% of national gold production and contributes to national value addition. The sector has a mix of responsible and irresponsible miners, with the irresponsible ones overshadowing the work of the former, leading to environmental degradation and pollution.
Taking into consideration the past, the present and the future of the ASM sector, we, multi-stakeholder participants of the 1st Sustainable Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Awareness Day meeting at UMaT Main Campus, Tarkwa, Ghana, on 2nd June 2021, reaffirm the contribution of ASM in employment creation, poverty reduction, enhanced livelihoods and sustainable development. Based on the above considerations, we hereby declare our commitment:
GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SMALL-SCALE MINERS (GNASSM):
We, therefore, declare our Commitment to Sustainable and Responsible mining activities that ensure the protection of our lands, water bodies, forest and communities.
Our Key Responsibilities:
- Ensure that members engage in sustainable and responsible mining activities;
- Ensure that our members and associates adopt practices that avoid and minimize the environmental damages due to extraction and processing of ore;
- Assist Government and regulators to deal with recalcitrant members whose activities do not abide by the governing principles of the sector;
- Empower and equip our taskforce to effectively monitor and enforce sustainable and responsible mining; and
- Support key stakeholders such as UMaT to develop appropriate support systems for sustainable and responsible mining.
UNIVERSITY OF MINES AND TECHNOLOGY (UMaT):
We, therefore, declare our commitment to train, provide technical advice and support to all stakeholders involved in the ASM sector to ensure Sustainable and Responsible activities that ensure the protection of our lands, water bodies and forest.
Our Key Responsibilities:
- Assist the governments to strengthen effective monitoring of the sector;
- Support the government to formulate and develop ASM compatible regulations for environmental protection;
- Lead research and development of environmentally friendly technologies to make the sector safer and very productive;
- Lead in the restoration of the degraded ecosystem (rivers and degraded lands); and
- Develop proactive strategies together with other stakeholders in dealing with the challenges facing the sector.
Vice Chancellor, UMaT National President, GNASSM