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Regional News of Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

32 illegal miners arrested by Miners Association in the Eastern Region

The Eastern Region Police Command has lauded the Small Scale Miners Association for arresting over 30 illegal miners and handing them over.

The Association’s task force recently conducted a swoop at illegal mining hotspots and picked up the recalcitrant miners who were mining in the various river bodies, in contravention of government’s ban.

The task force’s support for the Operation Vanguard, a joint police-military force in fighting the menace, has yielded in the confiscation of over 90 floating platforms used in mining on the water bodies.

Deputy Regional Police Commander DCOP Kwadwo Gyan Kyere urged the Association to keep up the good work.

"The illegal mining is destroying our water bodies, which you are all aware, especially rivers in the Eastern region people find it difficult to even use those rivers, they have fish in them but the locals can't eat them; so the exercise that you are supporting the operation vanguard is a good one.

“Your offices are here and we the police are going to give you the necessary support, we entreat you that any arrest you make let us have them, don't release them we will take them to the court for prosecution," he said.

He adds: “Ending illegal mining is a difficult task but since we have you at our disposal supporting the operation vanguard, we will achieve success."

A representative from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Dr Isaac Karikari is confident the Multi-Lateral Integrated Mining Project (MIMP) is a sustainable approach to curbing the menace.

"We from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources want to congratulate the smallscale miners for the good work done. But let me also add that, the Multi-Lateral Integrated Mining Project will be a holistic approach to combat illegal mining and focus on more than just militants and combat actions in mining communities,” he said.

He explained that MIMP combines Legislations Enforcement, Civil Integration and Technical Approach (LECITA) as a sustainable and structured but regimental conjoint concept which will encompass multi-stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Small Scale Mining Association is poised to fighting expatriates who will mine on a small scale when the ban is removed.

General Secretary, Godwin Amaah, said “in small-scale mining, the space is for Ghanaians. If you look at the law no foreigner is supposed to operate as a small-scale miner, so we will pool resources and flush out all foreigners from the industry when the ban is removed.”