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The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) is putting pressure on government to immediately lift the ban on small-scale mining as promised.
According to them, the government promised to lift the ban by the end of January 2018, and therefore they are demanding a timely fulfilment of that promise.
They indicated that, the ban, which was necessitated by the adverse effects of illegal mining has caused the arrest of some 632 illegal miners nationwide.
The General Secretary of the Small-Scale Miners Association Taskforce, Godwin Armah, said “We’ve been able to arrest 632 illegal miners nationwide, and seized 5,431 Chanfan machines. If the ban is extended once again, before we realize, so many people who are into illegal mining will devise new strategies to continue mining illegally.”
The Lands and Natural resources minister, John Peter Amewu, in December 2017, gave the assurance that government will lift the ban on small-scale mining by the end of January 2018 upon completion of an audit process and approval from Cabinet.
He indicated however that, there is more to be assessed, as well as a look into the small-scale mining processes before it is finally lifted.
“The Waterbodies are still not clear, the Chanfan machines are still there, illegal operators now conduct their activities at night, although Operation vanguard and the Small-Scale taskforce are doing their best to apprehended the illegal miners, there’s still more work to do,” he noted.
He added that, the Inter-ministerial committee on mining was given the mandate to vet 1,350 registered small-scale miners across the country so their ooerations could be regularized.
Meanwhile, the Committee is expected to make a submission to cabinet for assessment for the ban to be lifted based on Cabinet’s approval.
Source: Sammy Adjei || ghananewsonline.com.gh