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Business News of Monday, 22 May 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Small-scale mining ban to exceed six months - Amewu

The ban on small-scale mining may extend beyond the stipulated six months. The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Peter Amewu, has stressed the ban on small-scale mining will not be lifted unless the objectives for the imposition are not met within six months.

The government imposed the six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining, also known as galamsey.

The affected miners had expressed reservation about the ban which is in its second month, but in a meeting with the miners in Kumasi, Mr. Amewu rather called on the miners to comply with the ban.

“The ban on small-scale mining is on course. It is for six months so help us work collectively towards these six months. Collectively, until you are allowed to go back to the mining site, you will have to help us make sure we comply with that directive.”

“The fight against illicit mining is ongoing and until these six months, if we are unable to clear the system and rid out all the illegal people who are doing the mining, we will not be prepared to engage and bring you back to the mining site,” the minister stated.

The government has also warned the small scale miners that any attempt to breach the six-month freeze on all forms of small-scale mining will be considered a violation of the laws of the country and will be met with action from security forces, who will be deployed to enforce the ban.

The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners has expressed its displeasure with the ban and its Ashanti Region chapter plans to demonstrate against it.

During the Minister’s tour of the Ashanti Region, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, however, urged small-scale miners in the Region to comply with government’s ban.

According to him, the ban is a step in the right direction and will help deal with the menace, urging Ghanaians to understand that “this is being done to save Ghana from extinction.”