Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) forms an important sector of Ghana’s economy, employing approximately 1 million people directly and supporting the livelihoods of about 4.5 million people. Ghana is the leading producer of gold in Africa and the last two years, 42% of Ghana’s gold production comes from the ASGM subsector.
Largely the ASGM subsector is informal and as a result, its performance goes with the formal recognition. While the informal mining subsector supports livelihoods and sustains the local economy in host communities, it is also associated with severe environmental ramifications. Examples include the destruction of farmlands and the pollution of water bodies. It is estimated that 60% of Ghana’s surface water bodies are polluted largely due to informal mining activities. This phenomenon is predominant in the tropical forest regions of the country where alluvial mining is the primary method of production.
In the pursuit to ensure sustainable mining in Ghana, the School of Mines and Built Environment, Kenyasi Campus, of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, was established with the vision to become a world-class mining institution that generates, advances, and applies knowledge in the entire mineral resource value chain and the built environment. In this regard, the School has engaged several stakeholders for the partnership to organize a 2-Day Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale Mining come May 2022. The goal is to address the institutional dynamics for the sustainable practices of the ASGM subsector in Ghana. The 2-day event is programmed to bring together industry players, regulatory agencies, relevant ministries, and other primary stakeholders to sit at a ‘round table’ to brainstorm through the challenges and possible solutions towards the formalization and sustainable practices of the subsector.
The team led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako, the chairman of the planning committee of the dialogue, Dr. Abdul Wadood Moomen and some members of the planning committee, introduced the concept to the international community through the various Diplomatic Missions, Ministries, Regulatory Bodies, Financial Institutions, Media, and NGOs. Some of these stakeholders engaged include the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Education, Canadian High Commission, Australian High Commission, Minerals Commission, Minerals Development Fund, Association of Small-scale Miners, African Development Bank, Multi-Media, Citi TV and many other institutions.