The Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, Tong Rana Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang has said the destruction of the environment due to activities of illegal mining outweighs the yield of gold generated in the country.
The Talensi district in the Upper East Region is one of the districts in the country noted for the activities of illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.
The Tong Rana who expressed his displeasure said he was not comfortable with the impact of activities of illegal mining in the area.
The overload of the Talensi traditional area said this when the Governing Board Members of the Minerals Commission paid a working visit to him at his palace at Tongo in the Talensi District.
The governing Board members came to the Upper East Region on a two-day working visit to familiarise with the activities on mining in the region. Gold mining activities in the region have been increasing in scope and scale with Gbane community in the Talensi district hosting the main center of activities.
“The destruction of the environment as compared to the gold that we get cannot be the same because the destruction surpasses whatever measures we may put in place to reclaim damaged environment for ourselves and for the future” he said.
The chief who has taken a stand against the menace added that, aside the destruction of the environment, monies generated from the activities of illegal mining, finds its way into individual’s pockets.
“More of the gold is underground rather than surface and therefore, if the country wants to prevent any destruction of its geological cover, the best thing is to go for deep-shaft mining and control it properly”, the Tong Rana noted.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari who welcomed the Board members led by its Chairman, Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, and the Chief Executive Officer of Minerals Commission, Mr Addae Antwi Boasiako in his office, entreated them to streamline measures geared towards blocking unapproved channels that paves way for Ghana’s natural resources to be taken out of the country.
The Minister, who emphasised the need to safeguard gold accrued in Ghana in order to boost the country’s economy, commended the Board members for the new strategic direction they have brought to strengthen mineral regulation in the country.
Mr Bukari entreated the Board members to ensure that mining companies met their obligations to government.
Governing Board Chairman of the Minerals Commission, Sampson Kwaku Boafo, said in spite of royalties paid by mining companies to government, it was an obligation for the companies to employ the locals in their operations.
The CEO of the Commission, Mr Addae admonished managers of Cardinal Resources Limited and Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited; both small scale mining companies operating in the region to ensure the safety of their workers are protected.
Members of the board included Mr Joseph Quarm, Mrs Judy Crayem, Madam Esther Dey, Madam Lydia Alhassan, Mr James Ataki and Mr Martin Ayisi.
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