Compensate Legal Small Scale Miners for losing $551m – Yao Graham

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Registered small scale miners in the country collectively lost some $551 million as a result of the ban on mining activities.The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) says the figure is bound to go up if measures are not taken to lift the ban.

The General Secretary of the Association, Godwin Armah explained that, “this includes steel maintenance, underground de-watering, equipment ideal time and man hours.”

He added that, about four million people are being affected by the continuous ban on small scale mining.

The ban which was imposed early last year as part of the fight against galamsey, is yet to be lifted. The October 2017 timeline given by government was extended by three months, prompting protest by the GNASSM.The GNASSM says legal small scale mining firms are being unduly punished.

Speaking to Starr Business’ Osei Owusu Amankwaah, the Coordinator at the Third World Network, Dr, Yao Graham said government must compensate legally registered Small scale miners for the losses they have incurred during the period of the ban.

“I think that government should pay the legal miners whose business have been damaged compensation. They should be compensated by being treated through political fiat; nobody investigated if they have done anything wrong and their businesses have been damaged.”

He also wants government to show more concern about protecting local business. He noted that since the ban, only expatriate mining firms have the right to trade in Gold business.

“So you see our politicians on the front pages everyday shaking hands with foreign investors; they are destroying the business of locals. That is not good. Nobody has found anything against them; it is a blanket political ban which is destroying their business because of what illegal miners are doing.”
He noted that many legal small scale miners are afraid to speak on the matter due to the negative image of the sector.

 

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Osei Owusu Amankwaah

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