A 25-member delegation of small-scale miners sponsored by government to understudy the Chinese mining industry arrived back home on Wednesday to share their experiences with the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines.
The Chinese government hosted the delegation during the two-week study tour, which was aimed at boosting the operations of the small-scale mining sector to adopt modern and cost effective technologies.
At a welcoming reception for them in Accra, Ms Esther Abena Dappah, sector Minister, said small-scale mining had been making a significant contribution to Ghana’s economy, despite some prevailing challenges.
She named such challenges to include inefficiencies in the mining and processing stages of their operations, poor environmental practices and the threat of sustainability of the sector.
“It is in this light that government continues to introduce strategies targeted at promoting the sub-sector to further enhance the efficiency and sustainability of this important component of the mining sector,” the Minister added.
Ms Dappah said the tour was therefore expected to help end poor environmental and health hazards associated with the operations of small-scale mining and improve their organisational and managerial skills.
She reiterated the need for the miners to comply with requirements of the code of practice of the sector and cooperate with officials of the Minerals Commission to technically guide and monitor their operations.
The Minister lauded the efforts of some small-scale miners to upgrade their skills at the University of Mines and Technology and encouraged other miners to also do same.
She called on educational institutions to introduce programmes that would meet the needs of Ghanaian small-scale miners.
Ms Dappah thanked the Chinese Shaaanxi Mining Company for facilitating the tour and pledged government’s continuous support to develop the sector in a more positive way.
The delegation thanked government for the opportunity and promised to adopt the good practices they learned during the tour.