Small-scale miners in the Upper West Region have disassociated themselves from a pronouncement made by an ‘unknown’ miner that soldiers cannot intimidate them in their activities.
The miners were reacting to a story published by 3news.com on the recent visit by the Chieftaincy Minister to some traditional councils.
At one of such visits, a small-scale miner by name Ray Sualih had indicated that the soldiers cannot chase them from site, arguing that a concession license be withdrawn for Azuma Resources.
Ray Sualih had told the Minister during a stakeholder engagement on the roadmap to lifting the ban on small-scale mining: “You see, you can bring millions of your soldiers into the bush, we will run away, they go, tomorrow we’re there, we won’t sleep, we won’t sleep”.
He further accused the government of deceit, saying, “Minister, do you know Azumah said the whole of the Region is his concession? Do you know that? So, if you people are not deceiving us, if the whole region is his concession, assuming you say you’re going to map out somewhere for us, unless you go and beg them [Azuma Mineral Resources].”
But the leader of the Upper West Regional Small-scale Miners Association, Alhaji Abdulai Iddrisu, at a press briefing in Wa, disassociated the Association from the miner’s action.
He commended government for initiating steps to protect the environment and improving the standards of mining in Ghana.
According to the Small-scale Miners Association, Mr. Sualih and those on whose behalf he made the comments are not members of the association and therefore cannot speak for the association in anyway.
“We the members of the small-scale miners in Upper West Region would want to disassociate ourselves from such pronouncement and would want to state that our activities is in line with government’s plans to preserve the environment and would want to stay within the confines of the law and operate as small-scale miners,” Alhaji Abdulai Iddrisu said.
The association said it recognises the operations of Azumah Resources as a licensed company with concessions in the Upper West Region.
Government in 2017 suspended artisanal and small-scale mining activities in the country with a reason to come out with a comprehensive structure in the mining sector.
It is in this light that government started training of artisanal and small-scale miners in sustainable mining at the University of Mines and Technology (UMat) at Tarkwa .
They, however, appealed to the Minerals Commission to carry out geological mapping to assist in demarcating blocked out areas for artisanal and small-scale mining across the country while waiting for the full implementation of the government road map for lifting the ban on small-scale mining.
By Yakubu Abdul-Gafur|3news.com|Ghana