President John Dramani Mahama has directed Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to take the necessary steps to stop all illegal mining activities in their areas of jurisdiction.
The president has also directed district security councils and traditional authorities to ensure that all persons involved in illegal mining are arrested and prosecuted.
“In mining areas, this would constitute one such benchmark to ascertain performance,” the president noted.
His directive was contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Western Regional Minister, Mr Ebenezer Teye Addo at the re-commissioning of an underground mine operation by the Golden Star Resources Bogoso/ Prestea Gold Mining Limited.
The president indicated that mining in Ghana must benefit Ghanaians and thus government was determined to ensure that all forms of illegal mining was stamped out to preserve lives, the environment and public health.
Ghana, he said, must continue to nurture its shared interest in the mines, thus the need to “learn, work and pray together to achieve success.”
President Mahama pointed out that though Ghana’s mining regulations had significant room of operation for any person who wanted to go into small-scale mining, they were required to follow the laid down procedure in acquiring the necessary permits for any mining operation.
The process however, requires that small scale activities are monitored by the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and that pits created are supervised to avoid accidents.
According the president, the illegal mining phenomenon has cost the country both human and capital resources with over 300 people dying last year.
17 people have lost their lives so far this year.
“We cannot afford to lose the productive part of the society through unauthorized illegal activities hence the need to adopt pragmatic measures to curb the menace.”