The Chamber of Small-Scale Mining Industry in Ghana (COSSMIG) has stated that cooperative mining is the best initiative that will lead to the minimization of illegal mining or total elimination in the next few years.
According to the group, although activities of illegal mining is now gaining roots due to huge youth unemployment in the country, resorting to the use of the military, police and other state security agencies will not solve the menace. It has suggested the use of scientific approach in dealing with illegal mining, known locally as ‘galamsey’.
Addressing the media over the weekend at a special press conference at Bunso in the Eastern Region, Council Member of COSSMIG, Dr Michael Bugri, said the Chamber is willing to modernize small-scale mining and make it an attractive vehicle for sustainable employment in the country. The media engagement was part of activities to commemorate three decades of legal small-scale mining operations in Ghana.
Dr Bugril said the Chamber is ready to transform amorphous artisanal mining groups into small-scale mining cooperatives and companies.
“A well-organized small-scale mining industry, as we are seeking to do, should be able to create sustainable employment for close to 500,000 unemployed youth across the mining regions of Ghana,” he said.
He said the Chamber is seeking to bring together the various fragmented small-scale mining groups into a recognized, formal body to foster solidarity and adopt a united front on matters of welfare. It will also standardize the operations of small-scale mining as an attractive medium for employing middle level manpower through decentralized policy making.
He appealed to all stakeholders, including individuals, chiefs and the media, to help the government in the fight against galamsey devoid of partisanship.
Dr Bugri also called on all small-scale mining groups across the country to join hands with COSSMIG to pursue the cooperative mining and sustainable alternative livelihood projects.