Posted: Wednesday 21st May 2014 at 15:42 pm

Minerals Commission supports use of security personnel to curb galamsey

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The Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr Tony Aubynn, has expressed the commission’s support for the use of security personnel to flush out illegal miners.

He stated that while the commission supported small-scale mining, it rejected any form of illegal mining, popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’.

Speaking at a forum to outline its medium term programme in Accra, Dr Aubynn also said the commission would encourage community-based co-operatives to acquire small-scale mining licence.

Dr Aubynn said the commission would embark on public education on the small scale mining law and as well educate the public against the payment of bribes to officials for the acquisition of all forms of mining licences.

He also said the commission had instituted a project called the ‘Wide Area Network,’ which, when completed, would bring the commission’s core functions to the doorstep of their clients. Minerals Production

Dr Aubynn stated that mineral production in Ghana had been limited to four traditional minerals, namely gold, bauxite, manganese and diamonds and called for investments in other lesser known minerals in Ghana such as limestone, clay, kaolin, solar salt and granites. 

Investments in the production of lesser known minerals would help to diversify the mining sector and as well reduce the over-reliance on gold production and exports, he stated.

‘The commission will, therefore, encourage prospective investors not to only explore the traditional minerals currently under production, but to venture into exploring other minerals in the country,’ he said. Trust and mining policy 

According to Dr Aubynn, there existed a trust gap among the government, industry and stakeholders on issues such as the benefits of mining to the economy, disclosures of production figures and revenues, environmental degradation and the volume of gold and diamond exports.

He mentioned that the commission would support the government to formulate a National Mining Policy which would state the reasons why Ghana was engaging in mining and added that ‘this way, the debate of whether mining is good for the country or otherwise will be put to rest’.

He said the country’s inability to process our mineral resources for export had denied it large tax revenues and the opportunity to generate more employment. Medium term objectives 

As part of its short to medium term objectives, Dr Aubynn stated that the commission would soon announce a moratorium on the issuance of prospecting licence to new applicants and explained that it was to enable the commission to clean up the existing list to make available, ‘concessions for prospective investors and also reduce speculative holding of prospecting licence concessions’.

To enhance collaboration and transparency with stakeholders, Dr Aubynn disclosed that the commission had set out a programme that would ensure transparency and adherence to regulatory provisions to bridge the trust gap and build a vibrant mining sector.

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