Ban on small scale mining likely to be extended again

A Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Barbra Oteng Gyasi, says government is yet to decide on when to lift the ban on small-scale mining activities in the country. According to the Deputy Minister, who is in charge of mines, they are yet to achieve the expected results for enforcing the ban, hence the need to delay its lifting. “We saw some improvement but we did not achieve the objectives that we set for ourselves. We have made some progress, but we haven’t reached the point where everything is in place for the ban to be lifted,” she said in an interview on Thursday. In April 2017, the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry placed a ban on small scale mining in an attempt to curb the growing menace of illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’. The ban, which was meant to have been lifted in October 2017, was extended to end of January 2018 as a result of the Ministry not being satisfied with results achieved at the time. According to Deputy Minister Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry is broadening its scope in coming up with more stringent measures to curb illegal mining activities. She noted that there are plans to launch a five-year multi-sectorial mining integrated project (MMIP) after which the ban on small scale mining activities will be lifted. “We believe if we effectively implement the multi-sectorial mining integrated project, we will eradicate the illegalities in our small scale mining sector.” According to the Deputy Minister, piloting of reclamation has already been conducted at Kyebi in the Eastern Region and the same would be replicated for dredging of the river bodies as components in the MMIP. As part of the implementation of the project to achieve the desired objective, district committees against illegal mining (DCIMs) would be established in the various districts to monitor the activities of miners. “Once the ban is lifted, there will be a committee on the ground to monitor the activities of small scale mining and companies involved,” she said A number of Mining District Officers (MDOs) have already received training from the Minerals Commission to enable them carry out their duties effectively in line with the implementation of the MMIP.

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By Kwabena Adu Gyamfi||Ghana ]]>