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Business News of Friday, 17 August 2012

Source: GNA

Legalize the operations of artisanal small scale miners - Consultant

Mr. Ambrose Yennah, a Consultant at Africa Integrated Development and Communication Consultant Limited (AIDCC) has called on government to consider legalizing the operations of artisanal small scale miners in the country.

He said due to the unregulated nature of the operations of such miners, government keeps losing a vital avenue for accruing more tax revenues.

Mr. Yenna said this in Tarkwa on Thursday when he presented a report at a one-day specific action plan workshop on artisanal and small scale mining.

The workshop was funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) and since 2009 it has been organized by Ghana Chamber of Mines in collaboration with member institutions.

Mr. Yennah said stakeholders in the report identified serious security and cost implications for national security as the encroachment by such unregulated activities often accompanied with deadly weapons for self defense by the miners could create problems.

He said “this has the potential of promoting the manufacture and distribution of small arms in the country and the sub-region.”

He said government and regulatory agencies should identify non-Ghanaians currently engaged in illegal operations contrary to the law and prosecute them as the Minerals Commission and Mining Act 2006 (Act 03) section 83 reserves small scale mining for Ghanaians only.

Mr. Yennah said government needs to review, strengthen and update already existing laws and regulations to make them more relevant to the current needs and challenging of the industry.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Toni Aubynn, expressed gratitude to BUSAC fund for their support.

He said the Chamber of Mines sees this initiative on small-scale mining as a means of ensuring mutual benefits from mining activities for small-scale miners, mining communities and the state.

Mr. Aubynn said this would be achieved through the promotion and legalization of small-scale mining, encouraging the formalization of artisanal small-scale mining alongside the large scale ones.

The CEO said it is their hope that the efforts of the Chamber would translate into a reduction in the number of disputes, tension and potential conflicts as well as address the environmental health hazards of illegal operations in the mining communities.

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