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Ghana Loses $30 Billion To Illegal Mining Activities

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Already saddled with the bane of illegal mining on the environment, Ghana has lost and may continue to lose a whopping $30 Billion every year; the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Frimpong Boateng has revealed.

According to him, foreign illegal miners who engaged in the value chain― (the process by which businesses receive raw materials and add value to it through various processes to create a finished product), smuggle the commodity to their countries leaving a heavy toll on the economy.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng made this stunning revelation at the inauguration of the Municipal and District Committees Against Illegal Mining, held at Kibi in the Eastern Region, on Monday.

He said, “A small country in the Middle East alone got $7 billion, and we Ghanaians we say that we retained only $2billion, we cannot go on like that, and you see, the things that are happening to us especially the Chinese, they look at us as to where to invest and how to invest and I know, they will not invest in any factory, they will not invest in any Industrial park.”

The minister added: “Why should we lose billions of dollars and go around and borrow $200 million, $10million for our country, I think it is a shame.”

Municipal and District Committees Against Illegal Mining

With a seed capital of GH¢10,000, nine districts in the Eastern Region have been tasked to lead the fight against illegal mining.

The committees headed by Municipal and District Chief Executives, would also vet and scrutinise documents of all registered small-scale miners in their districts out of which recommendations would be made to the Inter-Ministerial Committee against small-scale mining for final determination on whether to lift the ban or allow a particular small-scale mining company to continue mining.

The selected districts are; East Akim, West Akim, Denkyembour, Atiwa, Fanteakwa, Birim North, Birim Central, Akyemansa and Kwaebibirim.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, however, warned members of the taskforce to desist from any activity that would undermine the motive for the exercise.

Meanwhile, the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Mining say they have lost about $551 million following government’s ban on small-scale mining.

Speaking at a media round table on the role of artisan small-scale mining in Ghana’s economy and society, the Secretary of the association, Mr Godwin Armah said the ban is negatively affecting their investments.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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