For the first time in Ghana's mining history, the Ghana Chamber of Mines appears to be winning the fight against illegal activities within the mining sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Dr. Tony Aubyn is proud to announce that series of advocacy interventions undertaken by the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) has led to the streamlining of small scale mining operations and increased environmental awareness.

Immediate past CEO of GCM, Dr. Tony Aubynn discussing mining issues with relevant stakholders

He argued that, unlike before, many stakeholders including small-scale mining operators are now enlightened about the legal and the environmental consequences of their operations and through the BUSAC-funded interventions many foreigners especially Chinese nationals had been flushed out of the small scale mining business.

A team of experts were also commissioned to undertake research into some of the issues, adding that the report of the research team now served as a guide to members of the Chamber in respect of compensation matters.

Dr. Tony Aubyn who was full of praise for the BUSAC Fund's support also added that, "we think that it's been very helpful. It's not just enhanced knowledge, but also improved compensation and the preservation of the environment," he said.

Over the past years, issues of compensation to landowners and communities in mining areas have troubled the mining industry, with strong disagreements between mining companies on one side and landowners and affected communities on the other side. Sometimes, these disagreements have led to demonstrations and violent clashes in mining communities, resulting in the destruction of property and life.

Apart from compensation, the haphazard manner in which small-scale mining companies operate with little regard for the law governing their operations has also been a major challenge to the mining industry.

. It is to help address some of these critical national issues that the GCM sought funding from the BUSAC Fund to undertake advocacy programmes involving the major stakeholders in the industry.

The stakeholders who participated in the programmes included representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, Minerals Commission, small-scale miners, traditional rulers, Water Resources Commission and national security taskforce against illegal small-scale mining.

By Suleiman Mustapha

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