Following the two-day transformational dialogue on the Artisanal and Small-scale mining sub-sector in Ghana, organised by the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) through the School of Mines and Built Environment, the University was invited by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) to the Commissioning of the Mercury -free gold processing technologies in Accra on Monday, June 6, 2022.
Representing UENR at the ceremony were the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Registrar, Solomon Panford Esq., the Head of the Department of Sustainable Mineral Resource Development (SMRD), Dr. Abdul-Wadood Moomen and Mr. Raymond Kudzawu-D’Pherdd.
H.E. The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, commissioned a set of 100 Mercury-free gold processing toolkits at the Independence Square, Accra. These new gold processing technologies are to be distributed to the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sub-industry practitioners across the Country. This comes in the wake of the United Nations (UN) drive on the Minamata Convention, which was adopted in 2013 and operationalised in 2017. The Minamata Convention focuses on the reduction, and where possible, the elimination of the use of Mercury in mineral ore processing by ASGM practitioners in Party Countries across the globe.
Ghana is among the 128 signatories to the Minamata Convention. All Parties are required to present their National Action Plan (NAP) for the reduction and elimination of Mercury in the ASM subsector. Thus, the introduction of the Mercury-free gold processing technologies known as “Gold Katcha” is a direct response of the Government of Ghana to the country’s NAP.
The Registrar was specially invited to give a statement for the big occasion. In his words, he emphasized the negative impact of illegal mining on the country’s natural resources noting that the use of the “Gold Katcha” in mining would help alleviate the rate at which mercury pollutes the natural resources in mining areas. He further commended the government for the initiative which would save the nation from destruction.