Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines Joyce Aryee says the fight against illegal small-scale mining should not be directed at the labourers who descend into the bellies of the earth in search of precious minerals but to those who invest money into it.
According to Ms Aryee, those who invest money into the unlawful act, by paying the illegal miners and securing equipment for the purposes, must rather be tackled.
She explained that those who labour in the value chain do so because they want to earn a living and are given this by investors.
Speaking on Hot Issues on TV3 on Saturday, April 29, Ms Aryee said because what they want is payment for work done, labourers – popularly known as galamseyer – disregard the degradation their activities cause.
A lot of those miners do not even belong to the area, she cited, adding that some even are from outside Ghana.
She, therefore, asked the Minerals Commission to change its approach by confronting those who own the equipment used in the business.
She explained that mining of any mineral cannot be banned since “it is critical to us”.
The former Chamber of Mines boss said because almost every gadget found in homes and offices are products of mining, the business cannot be stopped.
“What it will be is to get the Minerals Commission to take the whole issue of licensing and monitoring very seriously.”
She also called for a constant campaign “to get people to undertand what the right things are.”
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