Environmentalists in Ghana are advocating the adoption of precision mining to help promote responsible mining among small scale miners.
Deputy Executive Director for Operations at the Environmental Protection Agency, Ransford Sakyi said the environmentalists are pushing for the signing of a bond as part of requirements for licensing small scale miners.
The deputy explained that the precision mining system ensures only areas with enough gold to cover expenditure are opened for mining, contrary to the indiscriminate digging for gold. The system also ensures areas with enough gold deposits, identified through geological investigation, are mined. Under the traditional small-scale mining, miners dig concessions indiscriminately in search of gold, incurring huge losses.
“If you dig everywhere for gold, how do you get money to reclaim all these areas. It is one of the reasons why there are a lot of mining degraded lands,” Ransford Sakyi.
Dean for the Faculty of Natural Resources at KNUST, Prof. Kyere Boateng, believes investments in precision mining will help promote responsible mining.
“If it is a technology working somewhere, we need to make efforts to get same technology here because it will reduce the cost involved in mining and also ensure that we don’t dig everywhere and that where there is no gold there is no point in digging. That will translate into less damage being done to the vegetation,” he said.
Under the Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999, any undertaking in respect of which a reclamation plan is required to post a reclamation bond based on the approved work plan. Large scale miners post bonds financially to serve as a surety to cover the cost of environmental damage at the site during or after the operations.