General News of Monday, 24 June 2019
Mr Kisman Eghan, an Engineer at AngloGold Ashanti, has called for the training and funding of artisanal small-scale miners to enhance their contributions to the mining industry.
Speaking in an interview after a panel discussion on the funding of mining and energy projects, Mr Eghan said a main step forward was to group the small-scale miners into cooperatives to make it easier for them to obtain financial and technical support for their operations.
He said the small-scale miners have become major stakeholders in the industry, especially looking at their contribution to total production over the last few years.
Ghana has overtaken South Africa in gold production with the artisanal sector, contributing about 42 per cent of the output in 2018.
“If we have not trained them in the past, then we have not done so much to help them. They have added so much to the production of gold for the nation and we must find appropriate ways to help them as they are major stakeholders now,” Me Eghan said.
He said there are institutions, such as the University of Mines in Tarkwa that could take part of the skill training needs of the small-scale miners, adding that Obuasi has plans to have a KNUST campus to enhance the skills of the miners.
He said by grouping them into cooperatives, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Mines Inspectorate and other relevant bodies could look at their safety, the risk, and the impact of the operation on the environment.
“We just have to make sure that the job that they are doing is very safe,” he said.
He said AngloGold on its own is doing enough to create employment as most people in the communities were dependent on the mine.