Nii Osah Mills, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, has vowed strict enforcement of the mining laws to ensure the safety of the people and the health of the environment.
He said the government would go to every length to make sure that there was compliance with the various environmental, health and safety measures put in place to protect the environment and the lives of people in the mining communities.
He warned that recklessness or unsafe practices that could create health and environmental hazards would not be tolerated.
The Minister said this in an address read for him at the 2016 inter-mines safety and first aid competition hosted by the Perseus Mining Ghana Limited, at Gyaman, near Ayanfuri, in the Central Region.
It was organized by the Ghana Chamber of Mines in collaboration with the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission and the Saint John Ambulance, to highlight the central role that health and safety played in the mining industry.
The event was held under the theme ‘Safety, our way of life’ and on hand to participate, were four companies – Goldfields (Ghana) Limited Tarkwa Mine, Golden Star Mines, Chirano Mines and Perseus Mines.
Nii Osah Mills applauded the mining companies for their untiring effort to create a safe and conducive environment, something, which had helped to drastically reduce accidents at the mining sites and in the communities.
The same could however not be said about the activities of illegal miners, which had continued to destroy the land, pollute streams and river bodies, alongside the absence of safety measures, resulting in many accidents – deaths.
He underlined the need for chiefs, opinion leaders and all stakeholders to accept to work together to rein in the illegal miners.
Mr. Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said safety was a major priority of the mining industry.
That was why mining companies were placing greater emphasis and investments to create safe working conditions for their employees and people in the mining communities.