Miners Vetting Hits Final Stage

Vetting of small-scale miners by government has reached the final stage, according to Charles Bissiw, the Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).

Mr. Bissiw said that the small-scale miners, who appeared before the committee, were made to give reasons why they should be granted authorization to undertake mining.

He added that documents of the artisanal miners were scrutinized as part of government’s plans to lift the ban on small-scale mining in the country.

“Now we are in the third phase, the third phase is that you have to come and meet the vetting committee in Accra so we go through with them,” the secretary of the committee told Accra-based radio station Citi Fm yesterday.

“What we found was that some of them have not paid for their EPA permit and other documentation and all that. So today will be the final stage of the vetting where we will go through their documents and all that.”

The final phase of the vetting began yesterday, and it’s expected to last for two weeks.

The secretary advised the miners and mining companies to adhere to the mining regulations or risk losing their licences.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that some of the miners engaged in various illegalities, including duplication of documents to cover other concessions in other regions in the country.

In 2017, government was compelled to ban illegal mining due to the massive destruction of the country’s land and water resources.

The ban was first placed in January 2017 for six months and extended in October 2017 for another three months, which ended in January 2018.

The move formed part of the roadmap towards the lifting of the ban on all forms of small-scale mining in the country to sanitize the country’s mining industry and ensure that people undertake responsible, environmentally-friendly and sustainable mining.

The roadmap involves the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined out areas, restoration of impacted water bodies and strict supervision of the processes of awarding mining licences and associated permits.

The new mining concession agreement will provide all legal small-scale miners with identification cards and uniforms.

At the end of the new registration, government will be able to identify the number of concessions, excavators and miners in every district.

The miners reportedly suggested to government to give them unique uniforms for identification purposes.

In addition to the uniforms, government would give every miner an ID card with a digitised barcode, unique number and TIN number, as well as insurance.