General News of Saturday, 3 February 2018
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu has said a lot more needs to be done before the ban on all forms of small-scale mining can be lifted.
He explained that though government has rolled out measures to clamp down on activities of illegal miners, results yielded so far in the crusade are still unsatisfactory.
There is currently a ban on small-scale mining in the country following the widespread devastation of the water resources and forest reserves due to the activities of illegal miners.
A six-month ban, which was imposed by the Ministry earlier in 2017, elapsed in October 2017, but was extended to January 2018.
John Peter Amewu indicated that his Ministry will continue to dialogue with the association on the possibility of lifting the ban.
“I had a meeting last week with the small-scale association so we are in close contact and something good will definitely come up… We want to finalize everything and then we can make a pronouncement. There is also a ministerial committee that is working alongside my Ministry to see how we can address this…”
The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale miners, whose members have been largely affected, has warned of dire consequences should the ban be extended again.
The Association urged the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to lift the ban on small-scale mining and rather ensure strict enforcement of the country’s mining laws.
We’re targetted in galamsey fight’
Meanwhile, the small-scale miners have held the view that the government’s anti-galamsey fight is targetted at them, although large-scale miners are expected to be subjected to strict government supervision as well.
‘Small-scale miners stage protest’
In September 2017, some small-scale miners in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, staged a demonstration over the government’s decision to extend the mining ban.
Despite some police arrests and firing of tear gas at the protesters, the organizers described the demonstration as successful.