Western Region Minister Kwabena Okyere-Darko Mensah has warned that the regional security council (REGSEC) will not hesitate to close down any community mining scheme where the site is turned into a fighting ground.
He stressed that among the many reasons for the community mining scheme is to ensure that the youth are gainfully employed while shunning from social vices.
The regional minister therefore does not see the reason why the site should be grounds to foment trouble “especially when you have been gainfully employed and able to make ends meet”.
“We don’t want a situation where the President has given us such a beautiful present and people will come and fight here, create problems and hurt themselves. That is why I’ve told them that if I hear any fight here, I will close down the mine. If anyone misbehaves, I will arrest them and send them to Sekondi.”
Speaking to 3news.com, the regional minister explained that “we want to make sure that there is discipline in all our mining sites like there is discipline in Goldfields, so much discipline in AngloGold.
“Again, we have been promoting ethical mining which is key and so we want to use these community mining sites as enclave for ethical mining sites so that anyone who visits this country will know that we are getting our gold here at a premium. I mean we should have a Ghana gold label that says that there is no conflict, that it is clean and can be exported anywhere so that we can get the value of our gold the way it should be.”
Mr Okyere-Darko Mensah, who is also Member of Parliament for Takoradi, issued the warning when he together with the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining, George Mireku Duker, operationalized the Akoon Community Mining Scheme.
The regional minister also revealed that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) desires to open 100 community mining schemes in the region.
He explained that the RCC wants to use the scheme to offer employment to the youth.
“We are looking for jobs for the young people across the length and breadth of the Western Region… so we believe that the community mining schemes are schemes that if we run them well will be able to accommodate a lot of youth to do something instead of roaming about doing nothing,” he emphasized
By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana