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Small Scale Mining: Group Demands Answers on Ban Lifting

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Pressure group, Occupy Ghana, has called for the release of particulars on proposals by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) towards the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.

Issuing a seven-day ultimatum, the group amongst others, has asked government to provide the list of companies who have been granted small scale mining licenses, and release the comprehensive audit report on the sector.

A letter dated September 17, directed to the Mineral Commission said “In meetings with your team in May 2017, we were informed of the existence of the Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP), which sought to solve the identified problems with illegal mining. We find that the above issues have not been adequately addressed and that is why we write to you to seek clarification.”

Government, in a bid to fight illegal mining, imposed a six-month ban on all forms of small-scale mining.

The move, which was to clamp down the destructive activities of illegal miners, was further extended by several months much to the displeasure of the Small-Scale Miners Association of Ghana and related groups.

After a year, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining announced a road-map towards the lifting of the ban.

However, Occupy Ghana insist the proposal by the IMCIM appears to be hurriedly put together, and it is deeply concerned about the role of the Chief Executive Officer as the regulator.

According to them, some concerns they raised last year, in relation to the ban lifting were not adequately addressed.

They raised concerns about the legality of foreigners engaged in small-scale mining in Ghana; and the devastation of our forests and water bodies by the illegal activities of mining.

Meanwhile, a member of the group, Ing. Nana Sarpong Agyeman-Badu in an interview on Citi News threatened to take legal action if the report is not made available after the stipulated time.

“Seven days from today, should we not get any information we will look at the option of going to court to compel them to give us that information. In the constitution, they must get parliamentary ratification for their licenses.

“But in engaging the Minerals Commission last year, none of the small-scale mining companies had parliamentary ratification which meant that they were mining illegally,” he said.

By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum

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