Extension of Ban Pointless; Small Scale Miners Cry Foul

Small Scale Miners Association has expressed total disappointment in the government for extending ban on small scale mining.

Members have therefore questioned the kind of policy government wants to roll out in regulating mining activities in the country.

The Lands and Natural Resources minister, John Peter Amewu on Friday 10th November 2017 announced an extension of the ban during a tour to some reclamation sites at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.

The ban has been pushed further to another three (3) months and it’s expected to be lifted in January 2018.

The national chairman of Small Scale Miners Association, Evangelist Collins Osei Kusi fretted over government’s decision, suspecting it is a calculated attempt by government to deprive them of their livelihood.

He stressed that the embargo placed on their activities in order to fight operations of illegal miners (galamseyers) is strange.

“If government really wants to eliminate illegal mining activities then [government] must involve us and allow us to work as well because we know them and know where they operate,” he suggested in an interview with Onua FM.

Evangelist Collins Osei Kusi said some of his colleagues are even accusing the leadership of the association of conspiring with government to collapse their businesses.

According to him, some of his members have died as a result of the ban, which began early this year, whilst others had their properties confiscated by banks, which is making life  extremely difficult for them.

“We are ready to collaborate with government to end and outmanoeuvre illegal mining to save the water bodies and the environment but government should consider sustaining our work”.

The government earlier 2017 imposed a six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining and its related activities which adversely affected the environment.

The sector minister has indicated that, government has set up a committee to monitor development in the sector before a five-year Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) would be implemented to regulate mining activities in the country.

Read also: Gov’t to spend GHC60K to reclaim a hectare of ‘galamsey’ land

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