The Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, Tongraan Kugblisong Nalebteng, has said small-scale mining in the Gbane mining community, which recently witnessed a bloody blast, will not be of any benefit to the people of the area.
He said small-scale mining degrades the environment yet offers little to the overall development of the area and would rather advise small-scale miners to invest in deep shaft mining.
Speaking to the media in his palace at Tongo in the Upper East Region, the Tongraan called on the small-scale miners to consider partnering bigger companies that have the muscle to do deep-shaft mining.
“Small scale mining would not help us in anyway and the destruction that goes with small-scale mining on the land and forest is more damaging than the accrued gold put together in terms of the damage verses the earnings that we make,” he said.
The Tongraan, who was the Member of Parliament for Talensi before his enskinment as the paramount chief of the area, specifically commended two small-scale mining companies: Yenyeya and Pobataba, who have partnered a Chinese mining company, Shanxi, and are doing deep shaft mining.
He further commended the companies and their partner for giving back to the society by way of corporate social responsibility in building of schools, bridges, reshaping of feeder roads, scholarships to senior high school students, ICT facilities and others.
He observed that at no time in the history of the traditional area did any small-scale mining company on its own contribute anything to the development of the area.
The chief, thus, insists all small-scale miners invest in deep shaft mining so that they can engage in an environmental-friendly activity and still have the means to support communal development.
Meanwhile, the Tongraan has sympathized with the family of the 16 people who lost their lives as a result of a mining blast which is still under investigations.
Whereas the small-scale miners in the area are accusing the Chinese company, Shanxi, for the catastrophe, the company is in turn accusing the small-scale miners.
However, the lands and natural resources ministry has setup a committee to investigate the issue and bring the perpetrators to book.
The chief has advised all aggrieved parties to channel their concerns to the committee rather hiding behind ulterior motives to cause violence in the area.