Assessment of the Challenges in Policy Implementation in the Small Scale Gold Mining Sector in Ghana â€“ A Case Study
Keywords:Small Scale Mining, Mineral Policies, Environmental Impact, Regularisation, Challenges
In recent times there have been grave concerns by stakeholders in the mining sector about the environmental destruction and the social impacts of uncontrolled small scale mining (SSM) activities in Ghana. Although there are available legislative instruments that define the procedures required for the acquisition of licence and operations of SSM activities, the above challenges still persist. This paper assesses the challenges in policy implementation in the small scale gold mining sector of Ghana by reviewing policies on regularisation and environmental management. It further identifies challenges faced by small scale mining operators in adhering to laid down policies for the smooth operation of the sector and furthermore assesses the views of some principal stakeholders on the benefits and challenges of small scale mining using the Dunkwa Mining District as a test case. The study reveals the following factors among others to have contributed largely to the difficulty in regularisation, environmental and social challenges that have plagued the SSM sector: low level of education of majority of miners; bureaucracies and centralisation of licence acquisition processes; lack of sources of finances for SSM projects; lack of geological information on mineable areas; and lack of adequate knowledge of the laws and regulations on mining and environment. In addressing the challenges the following recommendations are made: decentralisation of the regularisation processes to simplify licence acquisition; adequate geological investigations should be undertaken on SSM block out areas to reduce the try and error mining approach adopted by miners; and continuous education and training of miners on good mining and environmental practices among others.
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