The Atwimanso Community in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region came to a standstill on Thursday, 22nd June 2023 as hundreds of residents from the community and nearby towns thronged the town with great excitement and enthusiasm to welcome a responsible and sustainable mining innovation that is set to create 2000 direct jobs for residents of the community.
It was an atmosphere of utter exhilaration as the Chiefs, District Chief Executive (DCE), MP for the area and residents, joined the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines, Hon. George Mireku Duker (MP) and some Officials from the Ministry as well as the Minerals Commission to perform the official launching of the Atwimanso Community Mining Scheme.
Addressing a gathering of Chiefs and enthusiastic residents at the launch, Hon. Mireku Duker rejected claims from certain quarters that CMS has not enjoyed the full embracement of the Ghanaian public.
He emphasized that the CMS which is a community-centred mining module that promotes local participation in responsible harnessing of Ghana’s mineral resources has so far been a success as Ghanaians, particularly those in mining communities have taken keen interest in it.
Whiles commending the large scale mining companies that accepted to cede parts of its concession for the Atwimanso Community Mining Scheme, Hon. Mireku Duker reiterated government’s decision not to ban small-scale mining operations in the country, pointing out that contributions from small-scale mining has contributed to Ghana regaining its position as Africa’s biggest gold producer.
The sector, he indicated “has been established to have employed One Million people directly”.
Laying emphasis on the Key role the CMS plays in advancing the socio-economic development of Ghanaians, Hon. Duker said “the initiative is one of the surest ways for government to actualize its goal of raising local champions in the mining industry”.
The Deputy Minister urged management of the Atwimanso CMS to adhere strictly to the laws governing the establishment of the CMS and warned that government, through the Minerals Commission will not hesitate to withdraw the operational license and prosecute officials and staff who are found to have acted in contravention of the law.
He emphasized that the Atwimanso CMS is the only official scheme being launched in the Community and warned them against operating CMS that has not been sanctioned by the Ministry.
He announced that government will continue to set up more Community Mining Schemes at areas which are suitable for Small Scale Mining.
The Member of Parliament for Amansie South who also doubles as the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Yaw Frimpong commended the Sector Minister, the Ministry and the traditional authorities in the area on the establishment of the CMS in the community.
Hon. Yaw Frimpong also used the opportunity to preach against illegal mining (galamsey), urging his constituents to stand up and fight the menace.
The DCE of the area, Mr. Clement Opoku Gyamfi warned the residents against taking advantage of the CMS to undertake illegal mining activities.
He was also grateful to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for heeding their call for the established of CMS in the area.