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General News of Monday, 22 May 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Small-scale miners postpone demo against government

The Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) has postponed a demonstration aimed at protesting a ban on its activities.

The Association had threatened to hit the streets on Tuesday if government does not remove a ban on small-scale mining following a massive campaign against illegal mining also known as galamsey.

Meanwhile, the association in a statement said it has postponed the demonstration following a meeting it had with the Minister of Lands and Natural Resource, John Peter Amewu.

According to the association, have instead resorted to using dialogue but would be compelled to state the demonstration on June 7, 2017 if they issue is not resolved.

“The Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana National Association of Small-scale Miners (GNASSM) wish to inform the general public of the postponement of our intended march against the government, which had been slated for tomorrow, Tuesday, May 23, 2017.”

“Our decision comes on the back of fallout from a meeting with the Honourable Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu on Friday, May 20, 2017 at Georgia Hotel in Kumasi…All our members are hereby informed to remain calm and cooperate with us and that, our peaceful demonstration has been rescheduled for June 7, 2017, pending the outcome of our subsequent meetings with the sector minister. Our decision has been communicated to the Ashanti Regional Police Command and all those who matter,” the statement added.

Background

There have been complaints about the adverse effects of small scale illegal mining on water bodies and the environment in general.

Some analysts have hinted that Ghana may soon import water if galamsey is not stopped now.

For this reason however as well as a media campaign against the menace, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources put a six month moratorium on small scale mining in the country.

He also in April 2017 ceased further issuance of new licenses to small scale miners in a bid to deal with the rising menace.

He also directed owners of excavators to remove such earth moving equipment from mining areas or have them destroyed by government.