Business News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
The Ghanaian government as part of its fight against illegal mining in the country, has disclosed an on-going process to establish mining districts that will integrate and effectively regulate the activities of small scale miners in the country.
In a fully declared war against illegal mining in the country – popularly known as the ‘galamsey’, small scale mining operations were suspended by the President Nana Akufo – Addo led administration and the ban was expected to have been lifted at least by ending of this month.
However, the expectations of these small scale miner may be further delayed following this latest development from government on the issue.
In an encounter with some members of the press, Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation – Prof Frimpong Boateng pointed out that the continuation of the ban as well as the proposed establishment of mining districts are all geared towards intensifying regulatory mandate of the nation’s Minerals Commission.
He further explained that the efforts will specifically focus on improving the operational capacity of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission.
In his own words: “There is going to be a change in the mining scene; reorganization of the Minerals Commission but that is not working very well. For example, the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission is very weak, that division is supposed to ensure safety at the mining sites but that is not working very well”.
On the measures adopted by government, Prof. Frimpong said, “to strengthen those areas, the government is going set up three new mining districts and funds have been made available for this exercise. So after this then the inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission will be empowered to make sure they go to the mine site to inspect any form of irregularity so that we do not wait for years for this thing to take us by surprise”.
In addition, the government is also initiating a training program for the small scale miners and it’s expected to run from this July until August ahead of the expiration of the six months ban on small scale mining operations by September this year.
The decision is however not surprising to the Ghanaian public whom by now, are well aware of the President Akufo – Addo’s unequivocal pledge to end the menace of illegal mining (galamsey) in the country.