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General News of Friday, 19 January 2018

Source: Evans Agyei Sikaka

Government begins setting up District Mining Committees across the country - Minister

The government, as part of its plans to combat illegal mining activities in the country, has begun setting up District Mining Committees in all the mining regions across the country to check the activities of miners.

The District Committee, which will be headed by the Chief Executives of the various Municipal and District Assemblies, with the support of chiefs, security personnel, Mineral Commissions and government appointees, is to ensure that miners in the various areas comply with the laws been set up to protect the environment.

The government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources as part of activities to stop the menace, in 2017, temporarily placed a ban on the issuance of licenses for small-scale mining, and directed all illegal miners to cease the practice and evacuate from the various sites.

Speaking in an interview with OTEC news, Minister for Environmental Science and Technology Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, said the government is not against mining, rather against illegal mining also known as ‘galamsey’, hence the need to regularized the system to protect the forest, farmlands, and water bodies.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng, who is touring the Western and Central regions to monitor the establishment of these committees, said the government as part of fulfilling its promise to protect the environment and will not allow illegal miners to destroy the environment with impunity.

“The government is not against illegal mining, but what we are against is the destruction of the environment and we must protect the lands, forests and our water bodies, for the future generations. We will ensure that ‘galamsey’ is totally out of our country and those caught in the illegal operation will be severely dealt with,” he cautioned.

He said proper rules and regulations have being laid down by the government to ensure that small scale mining in the country are done in a proper way to save the environment when the ban is lifted.