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Artisanal mining production

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Artisanal mining production

Artisanal mining production Ernest GBWABOUBOU visit the east region.

From the 03rd to the 06th of May 2016, the minister in charge of Mines accompanied by the SETAT/MINMIDT and the Coordinator of CAPAM undertook a working trip to the East region of Cameroon.

A trip to come in contact with field realities and listen to the stake-holders in the mining sector, the aim of the Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development, Ernest GBWABOUBOU visit’s to the East Region was well known. The mission took place in some mining sites in Batouri (Kadey Division) and Betare-Oya(Lom&Djerem Division) both in the East Region. These are areas in which artisanal mining and mechanized artisanal mining are practiced.

As a matter of fact and in all his exchanges during this mission, the minister pointed out the good deeds of the mining sector, its various advantages and the poor management of the population despite the availability of mineral resource and it’s exploitation. The minister reminded that only 10% of the artisanal mining production is being canalized in the formal circuit of the national economy. He equally cited CAPAM as the structure put in place by the State with the role of coordinating, organising, facilitating, supporting and developing artisanal mining activity. He further added that CAPAM is in charge of the collection of State’s share in mining companies, supervision and monitoring of terms of contracts between nationals and technico-financial partners in order to contribute to the GDP and enable Cameroon to constitute its own gold reserve, to improve the livelihoods of artisans miners and riverside populations.

Problems

The visits in the mining sites enabled the minister to visualise some of the problems of this sector amongst which the proliferation of anarchic and fraudulent circuits of exploitation and commercialisation of mining products in the East Region. The minister also took note of the exponential degradation of the environment, the non restoration of sites after exploitation, the usage of polluting products by some exporters, night wash, dredging of rivers etc. He regretted the fact that some Cameroonian sold their authorization of artisanal exploitation to expatriates who then exploit the areas and obtain all the benefits. He thus encouraged the population to cooperate with local authorities in order to reinforce the control.

The minister equally explained the modality of sharing of quote shares and précised that the portion reserved for the local population is destined for projects in the concerned zones such as potable water, schools, bridges, etc. He announced that the list of distribution of the first projects is available, can be consulted in CAPAM by anyone interested and the projects will be executed in the nearest future.

Resolutions

At the end of this mission, several resolutions were made in order to bring order in the mining sector:
• The selection of reference enterprises through international tender;
• The implementation and respect of procedures and dateline;
• The reinforcement of bilateral cooperation through related activities;
• The respect of regulations and cooperation amongst various actors;
• The creation of an inter profession of geologists;
• The institution of a calendar of regular field missions in order to follow up report of activities;
• The sensitisation of actors and more regular field controls.
After restitution and exchanges, the Minister and his entourage undertook a visit to the Eastern Regional Delegation for Mines and after a lunch offered by the Delegate, the delegation took off for Yaounde.

Alfred FAHLOH GONDHI

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