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Gov’t to clear over 3,000 validated small scale miners to begin operations from Dec. 16

File: The ban on small scale mining started in March 2017 when gov’t realised the high rate of environmental degradation by these ‘galamseyers’

More than 3,000 validated and legally responsible small-scale miners in the country are expected to be cleared by Friday to begin their mining operations after Saturday December 15, the government has announced.

On the same Friday, government will announce a new policy framework for regularizing and reforming small scale mining activities in the country, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said at a news conference in Takoradi Sunday.

This comes barely two years after small scale mining was banned in the country as part of moves by the government to weed out illegal miners whose activities were fast degrading the environment.

The framework was the result of the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee that was established to supervise the ban and the transition to the new legal and well-regulated mining regime. The framework has since received cabinet approval.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said the announcement of the new framework will outline “how validated and legal responsible miners can mine after the 15th of December, [and] processes towards dredging and land reclamation in affected areas”.

It will also outline institutional reforms within the mining regulatory agencies, the legal reforms in the mining sector and efforts to avert a resurgence of illegal and irresponsible mining.

The minister said over 3,000 former galamsey operators have been trained within the new policy framework and that thousand more interested in mining can operate legally under the framework.

“It is our expectation that stakeholders and the general public will continue to cooperate with authorities even as this new phase is rolled out,” he pleaded.

Meanwhile, the Inter Ministerial Committee on Small Scale Mining will on Monday at the ongoing National Policy Fair in Takoradi, give an update on work done so far and the current status ahead of the announcement.

The ban on small scale mining was imposed in March 2017 by the Akufo-Addo government upon the realization that that small scale mining was being used as a cover for irresponsible mining in many parts of the country.

The activities of these illegal, irresponsible miners caused destruction to large tracts of farms, water bodies and large forest vegetation.

By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere|Ghana

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