President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo has expressed government’s commitment to continue the fight against illegal mining using improved technology and with the support of the security agencies.
The government, he said, is not against mining; however, it is determined to promote responsible small-scale mining through the ongoing Community Mining Schemes and use of technology.
He continued that 16 of the community schemes have been inaugurated, and three more would be done by the end of this year.
The President, who was speaking at this year’s State of the Nation’s Address to Parliament, said the community mining schemes are supported with the GoldKacha technology, which is a piece of equipment designed to help small-scale miners to extract gold from the ore without the use of toxic mercury.
The technology has the capacity to process sand, clay and hard rock; and the modular nature of the mining machine design allows for different modules to be added to expand the plants as the need arises.
The equipment, introduced by a Ghanaian trading and logistics company Commodity Monitor Limited, allows miners to gain a return on investment as the mine expands; the facility was made to specifically remediate mercury contaminated degraded lands, and recover significant quantities of gold in the process up to about 95 percent compared with the crude method that allows miners to get just about 35 percent of their gold. The technology helps artisanal and small-scale miners to achieve three basic goals: (1) high tonnes per hour processing, (2) no mercury use, and (3) high gold recovery.
Equipment to be used
When contacted, the Chief Executive of the Commodity Monitor, Mr. Stephen Yeboah, expressed their readiness to make the equipment available, which follows a well-structured acquisition process.
“We, at the Community Monitor, are of the view that in our fight to bolster illegal mining, which has become a national canker and raised serious concerns about pollution of rivers in mining areas, we need to apply technology to promote sustainable mining,” he said.
He said with a new mineral processing technology introduced by a Ghanaian company, “our technology ensures a cleaner gold mining and extraction process that prevents the use of mercury and tailings being directed off into water-bodies and mounting machinery, such as Changfas, in the rivers”, Mr. Yeboah said.
The Goldkacha, he mentioned, cannot be mounted on river bodies, and uses less water. “In addition to that, we provide all the accessories the small scale needs to ensure that it is done well.”
He further explained that the mining plants are supplied as fully comprehensive modular solutions from ore through gold ore or bagged mineral concentrates, as appropriate, without using toxic mercury.
“The machines improve the operations of miners in terms of high productivity, and ensure superior gold recovery”, the CEO said.
Mr. Yeboah said the company is happy partnering with the government through various sector agencies to ensure responsible and environmentally acceptable mining activities.
The new technology, Mr. Yeboah, said would ensure that mercury and other chemicals in mining, which are extremely hazardous to humans due to its serious health implications, are eliminated.
“More worrying is the unregulated, high use and exposure of mercury in gold recovery by artisanal and small-scale miners. Mercury use in this sector, globally, is estimated to be over 2,000 tonnes each year – with virtually all of the chemicals released finding their way into the atmosphere, water-bodies and land.”
“This puts miners and communities at risk of permanent brain-damage, seizures, vision and hearing loss as well as delayed and impaired childhood development,” he added.
Business and Finance Times