The Ghana Chamber of Mines is advocating for responsible mining by companies to help allay the fears of communities they operate in.
The Chamber indicated that mining companies must operate within the confines of the regulations and ensure that community livelihoods were not destroyed but rather well protected and enhanced.
Mr. Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said this during a monitoring visit to the offices of Azumah Resources, an Australian mining company operating in the Upper West Region.
Mr. Koney said the Ghana Chamber of Mines would ensure proper monitoring of all mining companies under its roof to ensure that they engaged only in responsible mining that would help bring development to communities in which they were operating.
He also charged the companies to be open and transparent to the communities by engaging in discussions with regards to the benefits that would accrue to the communities to enhance cooperation.
Mr. Koney expressed satisfaction with the exploration work done by Azumah Resources so far and debunked allegations by some organisations that sought to suggest that the Region was not yet ready for large scale mining.
He said mining could help turn around the fortunes of communities in terms of the alleviation of poverty and provision of development infrastructure to cater for community needs if carried out within the confines of the regulations.
The Chamber of Mines boss pointed out however that it would take proper planning on the part of stakeholders including the district assemblies to ensure efficient utilization of all revenues.
On the issue of illegal small scale mining, he said there was the need for a concerted effort to get the operators registered so that their activities could be adequately monitored and regulated.
Some citizens had earlier raised concerns about Azumah Resources operations to draw water from the Black Volta for its mining activities, expressing fear that in the dry season, there might be water shortage should Azumah Resources continue to draw water from the Black Volta.
However, Mr. Koney said there was no need to fear as the water used by the company would be recycled in addition to storage of dam water to augment their water need.
He cautioned that the Ghana Chamber of Mines would not hesitate to sanction any mining company under its umbrella that flouted the mining regulations.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines visiting team together with officials of Azumah Resources paid separate courtesy calls on the regent of Cherikpong and the Nadowli-Kaleo District Assembly, to discuss some positives about mining and how they could harness its potential for the development of the communities.