The anti-illegal mining task force, Operation Vanguard has backed government’s intended decision to extend its six-month ban on small-scale mining activities because the objectives for the ban have all not been achieved.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu last week announced the intention for the extension while addressing journalists in the Amenfi East district of the Western Region after a tour of some mining sites.
“There’s going to be an extension because we have not achieved what we are looking for but we’ll put in modalities and during the extension period, a lot will be done, we are talking about regularising the whole system,” Mr Amewu noted.
Several Small-scale miners, who claim they have licences to mine, have been fighting the government over the ban. They claim the government’s fight against illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) has unfairly been extended to them even though they have been licensed to mine.
But Operation Vanguard believes the extension of the ban will be in the right direction as it will afford them adequate time to clamp down on the illegal mining menace.
The Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard, Maj. Gariba Padi told Kasapa News his outfit has currently arrested a total of 380 illegal miners some of whom are facing prosecution.
Operation Vanguard, a taskforce comprising a joint military and police of about 400 personnel, was sent to three regions – Ashanti, Eastern and Western, to flush out illegal miners in those areas.