Ban On Small Scale Mining To Be Lifted Before Christmas - Minister Assures

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh has assured operators of artisanal and small-scale miners that the ban on small-scale mining will be lifted before the Christmas festivities.

According to him, in preparation towards lifting of the ban on artisanal and small-scale mining operations, the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources is planning to roll-out the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integration Project (MMIP) as its flagship project.

Addressing the media at a press conference at the Ministry of Information, Hon. Asomah-Cheremeh said the objective of the flagship project is to regulate and assist Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASMs) to improve efficiency of their operations.

He added that the project will ensure the use of appropriate, safe and affordable technology in small-scale mining as well as develop alternative livelihood projects in mining communities.

The Minister stressed that the project will train miners on sustainability mining practices and extraction processes and again ensures stakeholders enforce the law reserving small-scale mining for Ghanaians.

He however said that though the MMIP has not yet been rolled out, sustainable livelihood program are being carried out to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of mining on host communities in Dunkwa and its environs and protect the natural habitat from been encroached on by illegal miners.

He reminded the general public not to confuse “Galamsey” for Small-scale mining as the two are not the same; thus, from the on-set, “Galamsey” has been illegal according to the law regarding mining.

Explaining the reason for the ban, Hon. Asomah-Cheremeh insisted the operations of Small-scale miners affected the water bodies, the lands and the forests, hence the need for President Akufo-Addo to ban their activities in order to come out with stringent measures to regulate their operations.

“ . . the way we were operating was destroying our water bodies, the lands and the forests, and it forced the President to ban the operations of the Small-scale miners and then restructure their operations before lifting the ban,” he explained.

He therefore assured the Small-scale miners that “if things go according to plan, the Small-scale miners will celebrate the Christmas in happiness; meaning that the ban will be lifted in order for them to go back to continue their works . . . all arrangements have been made except few documentations before the ban is lifted”.

“But before they can start work again, there are instructions they have to follow. The instruction is that, Small-scale mining is reserved for only Ghanaians; no foreigner is allowed to operate in Small-scale mining. Again, you need license of a defined area before you operate and if it is close to a river, we have a distance of about 100 meters or feet away from the river. If you are able to follow these measures, you can engage in the operation of Small-scale mining,” he enlisted the rules.

He further hinted that the Minerals Commission has acquired drones as part of the mechanisms in place to monitor the system and sanitize the operations of Small-scale mining in the comfort of their office through computers.