Illegal miners respond to govt directive, move out of sites

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Galamsey operators in some sites in the Ashanti region and western north of the country have vacated their concession in line with government’s directive. Places TV3 news team in Kumasi visited showed that illegal miners have suspended their operations and vacated their sites after a deadline given by the government elapsed. Places visited include Keniago, Watreso, Mogyesango in Amansie Central, Juacobu in Amanie Central in Ashanti Region and Biposo, Awaso and Nkateaso in the Bibiani-Ahwianso-Bekwai District in the Western Region. Many excavators were found parked in filling stations or in bushes. Though it appears galamsey has stopped, activities of illegal miners have affected water bodies and farmlands in communities visited by the news team. Apart from the horrendous devastation the galamsey operators have inflicted upon the rivers and landscapes, Mining is a major economic activity in many developing countries. In Ghana, mining activities in gold-rich regions can be traced back to the days of colonialism when the country was called the Gold-Coast. Ghana’s huge mineral wealth is well known as the country is ranked 9th in the world for recognized gold deposits. Small–scale mining was once a respected traditional vocation. When the government officially legalized the practice in the late 1980s, it brought to the fore some challenges, including the mechanism by which the government granted mining concessions to peasants. The process was cumbersome and slow and therefore forced many people to mine illicitly. Today, illegal mining has become a major source of livelihood for persons living around legal mining communities, mainly due to the continuous rise of the price of the commodity on the world market. Some residents in the galamsey communities who spoke to TV3 news said the absence of the galamsey operators have affected the local economy. They called on the government to regularize their activities to enable them return to business to improve economic development in the area. By Benjamin Aidoo |TV3|3news.com]]>

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