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Business News of Monday, 17 December 2018

Source: thefinderonline.com

900 small-scale mining entities resume work today

A total of 900 small-scale mining entities whose mining licences and concessions have been validated can return to work today

The will mine under strict regulations and conform to the guidelines outlined in the new mining policy framework outdoored.

Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng explained that the two-year ban gives way to the new mining policy developed by an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining to regularise small-scale mining across the country.

He, however, stressed that only small-scale miners who have had their mining concessions validated would be allowed to mine in designated areas.

Prof Frimpong Boateng explained that a successfully vetted company must have valid company registration documents; valid permits and licences from regulatory agencies such as minerals commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Water Resources Commission; and the company must have a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN).

He added that the boundaries of the concession should have been mapped out by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).



According to him, the concessionaire must have a valid identification card from the IMCIM and QR Code equipped with scan codes from IMCIM.

The company must also have their machines, especially excavators and bulldozers, licensed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and also electronically tagged by approved agencies, he explained.

The government said it has acquired drones, some of which have been equipped with night vision sensors, to monitor mining rich areas for illegal mining activities.

Prof Frimpong Boateng explained that information on vetted artisanal miners would also be made available on the notice boards of municipal and district assemblies.

“Unregistered or illegal miners who were referred to as galamseyers, are being organised into community mining co-operatives and provided with concessions to work legitimately under the supervision of the district committees,” he revealed.



Ban

Government imposed the ban on small-scale mining as part of a frontal attack on the activity in line with President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s promise to sanitise the sector at his inauguration as President.

Small-scale miners, some of whom are foreign nationals, flout environmental rules and use dangerous chemicals like mercury to mine, polluting freshwater bodies that support ecology or serve as strategic sources of drinking water.

The ban was scheduled for lifting in October 2017, but it was extended.

The extension angered the Small-Scale Miners Association of Ghana.

After unsuccessful threats against the government, the association began lobbying the government to regularise the system and lift the indefinite ban.

The government then announced the policy to sanitise the sector, dubbed the Multi-sectoral Integrated Mining Project (MMIP), as well as alternative livelihood projects as part of preparatory steps to the lifting of the ban.