Members of a small scale mining group in the country have issued a three-day ultimatum to the government to allow them to return to their pits or face their wrath.
“We have given the president three days to allow us work otherwise all die be die,” Frank Osei who is the Chairman of the group, Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, told journalists Thursday.
Civil society organizations and the media recently joined the government to launch series of campaigns against illegal mining which is causing havoc to livelihoods and property as well as Ghana’s water bodies and forest covers.
But the group has since the government’s renewed fight against illegal mining in the country, expressed its dissatisfaction, particularly on the basis that even those operating with requisite licence have been boxed together with the illegal ones
It has been demanding that government draws the line between illegal small scale miners and legitimate small scale miners with licence.
Earlier in April, the group expressed its readiness to assist the government in fighting the menace of illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey.
Consequent to that members of the group announced their intention to constitute a taskforce with the mandate to monitor and report activities of illegal miners to security personnel.
But the government directed the suspension of all small scale mining activities in a move to streamline the licensing and operations of the sector. Over 500 excavators have so far been moved from various mining sites across the country.
“We are not illegal miners. We have licence that’s why we don’t want the government to box us together,” he lamented.
The miners have threatened to hit the street and protest vehemently even if it will cost their lives.
“We are ready to die than to live and not work” Frank Osei, said Thursday, and condemned and described as harsh, the destruction of some excavators belonging to some of their members who are operating with licence,
The miners have blamed the media for fuelling the fight against small scale mining in the country.
By William Evans-Nkum|3news.com|Ghana