Samuel Abu Jinapor (middle),  Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, being assisted by Barbara  Oteng-Gyasi, Chairperson, Minerals Commission Board, and Oseadeeyo Frimpong Manso, Paramount Chief of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, to inaugurate the building
Samuel Abu Jinapor (middle), Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, being assisted by Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Chairperson, Minerals Commission Board, and Oseadeeyo Frimpong Manso, Paramount Chief of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, to inaugurate the building

Jinapor inaugurates Akim Oda Minerals Commission office

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, yesterday inaugurated a new Minerals Commission Office at Akim Oda in the Eastern Region, and said that the government would continue to roll out progressive policies for the efficient harnessing and utilisation of the country's mineral resources.

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The construction of the one-storey office on a one-acre land is part of the commission's expansionary drive to decentralise mining processes across the country. The office will oversee mining operations in Akwatia, Anyinam, Osino, Asamang Tamfoe, Kwabeng and Moseaso in the Eastern Region.  

Present at the event were the Paramount Chief of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Oseadeeyo Dr Frimpong Manso; a Deputy Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Akim Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah; the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi; the Chairperson of the Minerals Commission Board, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi; the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, and officials of the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council.

Significance

Mr Jinapor said the establishment of a permanent office for Akim Oda had become necessary because the area remained the only diamond producing enclave in the country, with an additional responsibility to ensure the successful implementation of a Kimberly Certification Process.

He further said that "after revamping the community mining scheme, introducing the mercury-free gold processing equipment known as Gold Katcha, rolling out of online applications for mineral rights, and instituting a small-scale miners award scheme, if there are still doubts about the government’s commitment to promoting sustainable small scale mining industry, these infrastructural projects should do away with such doubts," he said.

The minister assured the chiefs and people of Akim Oda that the area would be given a community mining scheme to benefit the local people. 

Expansion drive

For her part, Mrs Oteng-Gyasi also said that the construction of the office was part of ongoing expansion projects by the commission to help check activities in the mining sector.

"We know that through this office, we are going to effectively monitor mining activities, and our officers will do a better job at protecting our mineral resources," she said.  She urged workers of the commission to strictly enforce mining regulations to ensure effective management of mineral resources in the country.

Progressive move

Oseadiayo Frimpong Manso said the establishment of the office was a major step towards democratising the processes of mining. He said apart from ensuring effective service delivery, the operationalisation of the office would help to monitor illegal mining activities in the area.

The chief also called on the government to involve chiefs and local people in the fight against illegal mining, stressing that when local people were part of the process, no illegal miners would slip through the net. 

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