Govt. to extend ban on small scale mining and licences

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Government is taking steps to extend the ban on small scale mining and issuance of mining licences for six more months. This is expected to allow regulators conclude and begin the implementation of the anti illegall mining blueprint being developed.

Sources at the Ghana Chamber of Mines told BusinessWeek in an interview that the move is a good one since the blue print or the anti galamsey guideline will help guide government in its fight to end Galamsey and provide alternative livelihood programmes for mine affected communities .

Government suspended the issuance of mining licenses in March 2017 for a period of six months as part of efforts to tackle illegal mining or Galamsey.

The move is believed to have helped sanitize the system. This was followed by the establishment of the anti Galamsey taskforce comprising the various arms of the security forces and the expulsion of the Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr Tony Aubyn, who is believed to have flouted some regulations leading to the haphazard issuance of mining licenses to ‘undeserving’ companies.

The Deputy Minister for Lands, Mines and natural Resources, Barbera Oteng said to Businessweek in an interview that “we have suspended the issuance of mining licenses so that we can restructure the sector”.

She said government has developed a five year multilateral mining integrated project to improve the management of small scale mining to protect the environment.

She said government had identified prospective areas for small scale mining, where it will direct the small scale miners to those particular areas.

The move, she said, would allow Ghanaians to mine in a regulated and sustainable manner under the five-year multilateral mining integrated project.

“We are also banning mining around water bodies and making sure there is surveillance around those water bodies and also establishing a processing plant for gold processing,” she stated.

Government is also committed to addressing most of the challenges related to the livelihood of mine affected people providing alternative livelihood of the people. A study conducted recently by the Ghana Chamber of Mines revealed the negative impact of mining on education, health and the environment. The get rich quick mentality has forced many to abandoned schools. Illegal mining has also had serious impact on public health.

“As part of our livelihood empowerment programs we will create vocational and technical research centers to train the youth and the unemployed on carpentry , masonry,  driving among other technical fields so that they can be absorbed into other areas of employment . Besides that they will also have entrepreneurial skills to do their own business,” the Minister sated.

Source: Adu Koranteng || Businessweek

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