The Accra Mining Network (AMN), a group of mining professionals in the country, have introduced participants in its AMN Field School to hands-on responsible and legitimate small-scale mining.
The group in its second phase of Field School education took 13 out of its maiden participants to mining sites it described as model and best sites in Kyebi and Osino in the Eastern Region.
The hands-on practical education was to give participants who were mostly to-be small-scale mining practitioners the platform to learn responsible and model mining from the two mining sites.
Mr Raymond Kudzawu-D’Pherdd, First Vice-President, AMN, said as a group of mining professionals, they wanted to sensitise members of the public who had interest in the trade on the right way to go about it hence the Field School initiative.
He said illegal mining was a threat to the environment, and urged practitioners and potential ones to take best practices.
He reiterated that responsible mining did not only save the environment of degradation, but also helped provide employment opportunities and economic growth.
Mr Kudzawu-D’Pherdd said the training was in two parts, the first was a theoretical knowledge sharing by experts, whereas the second was a field trip to mining sites to learn at first-hand practice.
“In a programme, we are looking at engaging over 70 participants in three batches, that is June, July and August. So, today we brought the first batch of 13 participants in this field trip to these mining sites”.
Dr Kofi Agyemang, Managing Director of Kibi Goldfields Limited, one of the sites visited, advised local miners to conduct adequate studies of their sites before commencing operations.
He said often some small-scale miners did not employ the services of geological surveyors and other engineering professionals to survey the mining concession before operating resulting in unsuccessful ventures.
Dr Agyemang advised them to be committed to the development needs of their mining communities by supporting them with social amenities.
Mr Godwin Nii Amarh, Director of Transeco Minerals and Mining Limited, who also took participants through his site, urged them to use the gravity method in mining and not mercury or chemicals as the gravity method made solid particles to settle in water naturally, safeguard the environment as against using mercury.
Mr Amarh said it was important for miners to adopt land reclamation methods to refill pits after mining and plant trees on them.
Ms Beatrice Ofori, a participant, commended the AMN for the initiative, for helping them to understand the mining industry adding that acquiring mining license was becoming cumbersome for applicants and called on regulators to make the process smooth for them.
“Our major challenge is acquiring mining license in the country, it has become too bureaucratic. This has made most applications to forgo the process to involve ,in unregistered mining”.