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Gov’t Extends Ban On Small Scale Mining

Government has extended the ban placed on all forms of small scale mining in the country by three months.

The three months extension means the ban is expected to be lifted by January 2018.

John Peter Amewu, Minister for Lands and Natural resources, made this known during a tour of some reclamation projects at Kyebi in the Eastern Region last Friday.

The government earlier in 2017 imposed a six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining and its related activities, which adversely affected the environment, particularly water bodies and forest reserves.

Some small-scale miners in the Ashanti Region, who were not happy with the ban recently embarked on a demonstration to demand an end to it, saying it was having an impact on their livelihood.

However, their demonstration did not yield any result as the Minister announces an extension of the ban by three months.

“There is an extension for three months, and the Association has been informed. The people we are dealing with are aware. The ban has been extended. This was supposed to end somewhere in October,” Peter Amewu said.

Multilateral Mining Integrated Project

He revealed that Government’s five-year Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) would be implemented February, 2018.

According to him government has set up a committee to monitor development in the mining sector before rolling out the MMIP.

“Cabinet has given approval for the multi-sectorial mining integrated project. But as you may know, there is an adhoc committee in place that is doing some exercise.

“Immediately the committee finishes its work we will roll out the MMP project. I’m expecting it to commence maybe in February because we expect the ban to continue for the next three months. And when the ban is finally lifted, then the MMIP will be rolled on which there will be more sustainable approach,” Peter Amewu said.

Meanwhile the government’s joint military and police task-force, known as Operation Vanguard, is still in operation to enforce the ban on illegal mining.

The team has so far arrested about 500 people of which some have been processed for court to face the full rigors of the law.

Source: Cephas Larbi/ [email protected]

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