Minerals Commission CEO questions practicability of banning small-scale mining

Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubyn has raised questions over the practicability of a temporary ban on small-scale mining.

The temporary ban has been forwarded by crusaders against small-scale mining as a key step to allow heavily polluted water bodies across the country to be regenerated.

Speaking on The Pulse with Gifty Andoh Appiah Monday, he said even though a temporary ban is worth considering in view of the widespread destruction of natural resources, many more alternatives such as enforcing already existing policies ought to be considered.

“The ban is not a bad idea especially when we are desperately looking for solutions around it. The other issue is whether there are other alternatives or we want an outright or temporary suspension,” he noted.

According to Mr Aubyn, although the lucrative nature of the industry attracts a lot of high profile personalities, the most important thing to consider is the mobilisation of massive public opinion against the practice. 

He said this is a departure from the days when the public perceived illegal mining to be for the poor and deprived who are trying to eke out a living.  

“There have been some NGO’s and the media jumping to the rescue of these people, but now things have come to a head because of its devasting nature. 

Dr. Tony Aubyn further adds that there is hope for the situation considering the public awareness created over time.

Over the weekend, Editor-in-chief of the Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako lamented the illegal mining menace, throwing his hands up in despair.

He said he is at the end of his tether as a Ghanaian citizen observing “what leadership President Nana Akufo-Addo and his administration could bring to bear” in stopping ‘galamsey’.

“At least all governments have tried but I have come to realise that all government personnel and security forces are involved,” he said.

In what he described as a “disaster unmitigated with obvious evidence,” he bemoaned what has hindered the different political administrations in dealing with the issue.

Dr. Aubyn said people like Kweku Baako should focus on how the heightened public disaffection can be harnessed for positive solutions.