The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has expressed the government’s commitment to resource some public universities in the country to undertake mineral exploration.

He said the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), UMAT and the Geological Survey Department would be adequately resourced, adding that this would enable the nation to get the optimum benefits from mineral resources.

The Vice-President was speaking at the Third Annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale mining organized by UENR at Fiapre in the Sunyani West Municipality on the theme: “Charting our country mining vision and the future of illegal mining.

The dialogue, among other objectives, sought to mobilise an effective approach in dealing with illegal mining to save the environment and forest cover.

Dr Bawumia said the government is collaborating with relevant institutions and traditional authorities to see the possibilities of formalising or regularising the small-scale mining sector and providing licenses to promote responsible mining as well as facilitate easy identification and operations of the miners.

Small-scale miners would be empowered to contribute significantly to the nation’s employment sector, he said.

The Vice-Chancellor of the UENR, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako highlighted the devastating impact of illegal mining on the country and called for more actions to help bring the situation under control.

He called on stakeholders, including government agencies, traditional authorities and the academia to collaborate effectively in the fight against illegal mining.

Prof Asare-Bediako noted that the university through its sustainable mining and environmental reclamation programmes was also contributing significantly to the fight against the menace.