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General News of Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Government bans importation of excavators over galamsey

The government has placed a ban on the importation of excavators.

The ban, although temporary, is part of measures it is putting in place to sanitize the small-scale mining industry and rid it of illegal miners.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting held last Wednesday.

“This has become necessary following government’s decision to combat illegal mining phenomenon, popularly referred to as galamsey,” a statement signed by the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said.

It added that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are aware of the ban.

The ban takes effect from May 1, 2019.

Excavators are one of the main equipment used by illegal miners in their operation which leaves devastating effects on Ghana’s land and water resources.

As part of the government’s operations to rid forests and water bodies of the illegal miners, several excavators have been seized, with many others burnt to deter the illegal miners from undertaking the activity.

However, many still find a way to get excavators through importation and hiring from other parts of the country to undertake the illegal activity.

The government is optimistic that the ban on the importation will yield some positive results in the fight against illegal mining.

License your excavators, bulldozers or face sanctions – Gov’t

The Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) in March 2019 directed owners of earth moving machines to get their equipment licensed by March 31, or risk prosecution.

Individuals who rent such equipment were also supposed to comply with the directive.

In a statement, the Committee said the directive had become necessary to enable it track all such machinery in a bid to formalize the mining sector.

“As part of efforts to sanitize and regularize operations in the country, the Inter-ministerial Committee Illegal Mining (IMCIM) is tracking all earth moving equipment (excavators, bulldozers etc.) for licensing and registration with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the Authority mandated by law to license and registers all motorized vehicles.”

“In furtherance of its mandate, the Ministry of Transport, through its Agency the DVLA in collaboration with the IMCIM and with the active support of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, wishes to bring to the prompt attention of owners of earth moving equipment (excavators, bulldozers etc), as well as those who hire these equipment to as soon as possible, and not later than 31st March, 2019, license and register them with the DVLA, if they have not done so already, the statement added.