An engineer at AngloGold Ashanti, Kisman Eghan as advocated the formation of artisanal small scale mining co-operative to address the challenges posed by illegal mining in the country.
Mr. Eghan who made the call during the interview at the sidelines of the Ghana Mining and Energy conference in Accra,said it will 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 extractive industry
“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,” Mr 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.
Mr. Kisman stressed that, AngloGold is doing enough to create employment as most people in the communities were dependent on the mine.