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Communities Must Expose Illegal Miners - Director   
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Mr Innocent Halijah, the Co-ordinating Director of the Ellembelle District Assembly, has called on communities where illegal mining took place to muster the courage and expose the perpetrators to face the law.

He said illegal mining, commonly known as “Galamsey,” had become a menace that was devastating the environment and river bodies impacting negatively on the socio-economic activities of the affected areas and the nation as a whole.

Mr Halijah said illegal mining was a practical operation which was visible so it should be possible for the communities to identify the culprits and report to the security agencies for the necessary action to be taken.
Mr Halijah made the call at a day’s workshop organised by the Western Regional Office of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission for Small Scale Miners, civil societies, assembly members and a cross section of people in the Ellembelle District at Nkroful in the Western Region.
He said nobody would come from outside to expose them except members of the communities.
Mr Francis Mensah, Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines, urged small scale miners to operate in conformity with the rules and regulations governing mining and warned that those who flouted it would be dealt with.
Mr Desmond Boahene, Senior Inspector of Mines, stressed the need for land owners and occupiers of the land on which mining took place to endeavour to regularise their documents to the satisfaction of all parties to avoid litigation.
He spoke on the topic; “Obligation of the mineral right holder and what landowners and lawful occupiers must know”.
Mr Isaac Mwinbelle, a Senior Inspector of Mines, said Ghana was endowed with abundant natural resources that played a major role in her socio-economic development.

In the process of tapping these resources miners must treat environmental issues seriously as that was key to sustainable development, he said.
During discussion, the participants expressed grave concern about the illegal activities of miners who had polluted the River Ankobra, the main source of livelihood of the community, and called for urgent action be to taken on the issue because it was affecting their socio-economic activities.
They said they would assist the security taskforce to deal with the offenders in order to bring sanity to the area.
Nana Afful Kwaw, Chief of Teleku Bogaso, complained about the failure of the small scale miners to pay royalties to the stool and appealed to the Minerals Commission to ensure that they fulfilled their obligation.
Source: GNA

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