Renewal of mining licence suspended; issuance of new ones on hold

Small scale mining companies would not be able to renew their licence until the menace of illegal mining (galamsey) is addressed, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Peter Amewu has declared. He has also issued a moratorium on the application and issuance of new licence to persons seeking to go into small scale mining. Announcing this on TV3’s Midday Live on Wednesday, Mr. Amewu said the suspensions would be on hold “until I begin to see some sanity in the system”. The issue of galamsey has gained national attention eliciting spontaneous and concerted efforts from all quarters to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners. Crusaders argued that the situation has become dire and needs urgent attention due to the effect of illegal mining on water bodies, the environment and other natural resources. [caption id="attachment_41302" align="aligncenter" width="563"] Peter Amewu, Lands and Natural Resources Minister[/caption] War against Ghanaians  For the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, “what is happening is a war against the about 27 million Ghanaians” as he employed all to join the fight against galamsey. Mr. Peter Amewu appears to have antidote to why previous attempts to surmount the galamsey menace have failed. He observed that often times when confiscated assets of these illegal miners are released to them, they go back to the same illegal business. This time under his watch, he said, like it’s done to cocaine, seized equipment would be burnt and rendered unusable. Also their sources of funds would be curtailed, he said as he brought to fore the involvement of Chinese in the illegal business. He was emphatic that Chinese nationals engage in galamsey or funding the activities would be dealt with.

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Drones and marine police The minister also announced a “three-pillar approach” being adopted by the government, which it hopes will win the fight against galamsey. The first approach, he said, is the ongoing nationwide media campaign. Then the yet-to–be implemented militant and combatant approach where the security agencies would take the fight to the doorstep of the illegal miners. Mr. Amewu mentioned the implementation of five-year project, that’s multilateral mining integration project (MMIP), as the third approach. The project would involve the use of “technology and application of law”, he said. According to him, drones would be deployed to galamsey-prone areas, marine police would be dispatched to patrol on the rivers, and the communities would also be empowered to alert state agencies of any illegal mining activity. A 7-member ministerial committee has therefore been put together by the president to tackle the menace head-on, he stated. By Isaac Essel ||Ghana]]>


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