We at the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining-Africa Network have read an article which seems to suggest that government of Ghana through the sector Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is currently put before cabinet a new draft law on Mining and is expected to be passed by end of this year http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=327374 and wish to describe the announcement as very unfortunate.
From the reports as featured on Ghanaweb online news portal and other related online news sites, we at ASMAN wish to state categorically that we are deeply saddened by it and finds it most unfortunate.
In the article,a deputy minister of Lands and Natural Resources Madam Barbara Asamoah is reported to have stated at a “Growth Week” conference currently ongoing in London that Ghana’s new Mining Law was going to be ready by end of year 2014 and that government was seriously engaging all the stakeholders in Ghana’s Mining sector.
We at ASMAN take a serious view of the statement and dare to say that some major stakeholders in the industry especially from the Small Scale Mining enclave are hearing this so called effort by government and the purported stakeholder engagement for the very first time through these online news articles.
Even most disturbing is the fact that, such an important process has been kept away from some major players in Ghana’s Mining sector such as the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners’ (GNASSM), The National Coalition on Mining (NCOM) and the many various civil society group working on Mining issues in Ghana yet the Minister is reported to have some Media houses that the passage process has delayed mainly because of extensive stakeholder engagements.
We at ASMAN have always believed that Ghana as country needs a comprehensive Mining Policy before an effective and efficient Law can be promulgated followed by detailed regulations.
We consider this announcement by the Minister on such an international platform as unfortunate especially at a time when Ghana’s Small Scale Mining industry and the general Mining regime is bedeviled with so many challenges and wish to suggest that an extensive multi stakeholder deliberations is required before promulgation of a new Mining law this in our opinion will ensure that the new Law is able to stand the test of the challenging times.
We at ASMAN therefore wish to call on cabinet to as a matter of procedure reject the new draft law which according to the deputy Minister is currently before them and order the sector Ministry to engage all other relevant stakeholders.
Edward Kwasi Akuoko
(Director, Policy & Research-ASMAN)
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