General News of Wednesday, 27 December 2017
The joint taskforce combatting illegal mining in the Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions has called for a review of the not very deterrent fines imposed on convicted illegal miners.
Operation Vanguard, as the task force is known, says should the trend continue, it could potentially undermine the national fight against the menace.
The task force in its latest operations update since inception on July 31, 2017 to stop illegal and small-scale mining, says some of the fines are “not deterrent enough and it behooves on all government institutions, civil society, NGOs, stakeholders in mining sector and all well-meaning people of Ghana to help arrest the situation.”
The update says in part that some culprits upon conviction are fined as low as GH? 2,400, “which is nowhere near what is stipulated in the Minerals and Mining Act 703 as amended in 2015, Act 900. Section 99 of Act 703 amended states that when it comes to foreigners a fine of not less than Thirty Thousand to not more than Three Hundred Thousand penalty units, or in default Ten to Thirty years imprisonment. But some Chinese illegal miners who have been arrested were given GH? 2,400 fine when the minimum should have been GH? 360,000.00.
“When a Ghanaian engages a foreigner to illegally undertake small-scale mining he is liable to a summary conviction of not less than Two Thousand penalty units and not more than Twenty Thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years or both. You have most Ghanaians who have just been fined GH? 720.00”, the taskforce laments.
The story as at Wednesday, December 27, 2017
No. of operations conducted 397
Foreigners arrested 109
Source: Operation Vanguard
“Operation Vanguard which was established through the initiative of the President of the Republic of Ghana has chalked this success with the help of the communities within which the Taskforce is operating as well as the various stakeholders.
“In this regard, the Taskforce wishes to appeal to the good people of Ghana especially opinion leaders and stakeholders in the mining sector to continue to volunteer information to the Taskforce and also join hands in the fight against illegal mining for a safer Ghana. Operation Vanguard, Say No To Illegal Mining Now.”