Business News of Thursday, 28 December 2017
At least over 1,400 registered small-scale miners are expected to undergo a “strict vetting” process to assess their preparedness to abide by the mining laws of the country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has explained the exercise will take into account the areas of operation of the miners to ensure that they do not deviate from their work.
“We are entering a new era in our efforts to formalize small-scale mining to achieve sustainable mining in a sound environment,” he said during the commissioning of an office complex for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining Thursday.
There has been a ban on small-scale mining since February in an attempt to crackdown on illegal mining localised as galamsey.
The president has repeatedly said his government will not tolerate the destruction of water bodies and forest reserves by activities of the illegal miners.
There was first a six-month ban on the trade, which elapsed in October, but it was extended by three months after a contingent of military and police personnel were dispatched.
Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul told Araba Koomson on Joy FM’s Midday News, the government has been impressed with the work done by the Operation Vanguard team.
Although more than GHC20 million has been spent on the team, the Minister said the government is going to commit more resources considering the nature of work given them.
Already, the contributions of small-scale mining to the country’s Gross Domestic Product has reduced. In 2015, small-scale mining contributed about 34 percent of the revenue output from gold, but this has reduced since the start of the campaign against illegal mining.
But satisfied with the success of the anti-galamsey efforts, president Akufo-Addo said his government will fashion out a “national action plan” to sustain the gains.
He noted the plan will have features similar to the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury adopted in August this year.
They will include:
(a)Actions to eliminate worst practices of mercury exposure
(b)Formalisation of the artisanal mining sector
(c)Reduction of emission in releases of mercury
(d)Strategies for providing information
(e)Public Health Strategy