The board members of the Minerals Commission have organised a day’s forum for small-scale miners and the youth in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality.
The forum forms part of efforts to sensitive miners to responsible mining practices.
Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Board Chairperson of the Minerals Commission, stated: "Prestea is a community noted for mining activities for over a hundred years now and, therefore, the government or no one has any intention of stopping them from mining, but their concern, as leaders, is how the reserved forest and water bodies are getting damaged by illegal operations".
"The Minerals Commission is trying all efforts to make sure people will go by the proper measures put in place by the central government for proper mining activities", she added.
She said in order to create jobs for the youth to help reduce pressure on mining activities, alternative livelihood programmes are underway to recruit the youth into seedlings planting, reforestation and reclamation exercises in the various districts.
She hinted at plans being far advanced to establish offices in some of the districts, most importantly Prestea and also recruit some of the youth to make the work of the Commission a successful one.
Being in the digital era, she urged everyone to access the internet to apply for a licence or go through the right channel to help acquire a licence for legal operation.
"Let's all join hands to protect our natural resources”, she added.
Dr Isaac Dasmani, the Municipal Chief Executive, noted that the central government has no intention of destroying the mining business as being speculated in the media, but rather putting in place lucrative measures to prevent illegal activities that can destroy the forests and water bodies.
He also advised the miners to abide by the rules and regulations concerning the Mining Act in order to help preserve the country's natural resources.
The Himan-Prestea Divisional Chief, Nana Nteboah Prah IV, for his part, commended the Commission for such an initiative and also took the opportunity to engage the miners in every community in the municipality through the information van.
He also assured them of their readiness, as chiefs, to help the central government in the fight against illegal mining to prevent the destruction of the reserved forest and water bodies.