The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker who also doubles as the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency has dismissed fears of members of the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale miners (GNASSM) that government has banned small-scale mining.
He has, therefore, charged the members to immediately return to work and mine responsibly.
Speaking at a meeting with the Association today, Thursday July 22, 2021 in Kumasi, the Deputy Minister reiterated President Nana Akufo-Addo’s love for mining adding that “mining support Ghana’s economy hence, government has not and will not ban mining in the country.”
He said government expects the legal Small-Scale miners to engage in responsible and sustainable mining saying that “your mining activities should match your licences acquired.”
Government, however, Mr Duker said, would not condone irresponsible mining.
The Ministry, he said, will soon set up a taskforce to monitor the operations of miners across the country stressing that “We want you to do the right things, drop your old self and take on your new clothes in mining.”
Responding to questions on the community mining scheme, the Deputy Minister, said, government will engage the Association in the scheme to ensure inclusiveness at all levels of mining operations.
On Operation Halt, he said the Military has been assigned specific task to protect water bodies and forest reserves and advised members of the Association to display their addresses in their respective concessions to prevent unwarranted encounters with the Military taskforce.
The Deputy Minister also announced a yearly Award scheme for the best Small-Scale mining concessions, an initiative which will begin this year to demonstrate best practices and encourage other miners to emulate.
The Vice President of the Association, Sampson kofi Wiredu, expressed worry about the activities of some soldiers engaged in the Operations Halt saying miners were losing their investment as a result.
He noted that the assurances of the Deputy Minister had given the Association the renewed interest and confidence in the government and the sector Minister to safeguard legitimate miners.
The Members of the Association pledged their commitment to support government win the fight against illegal mining.
They were drawn from the various mining districts including Wa, Tarkwa, Babiani, Dunkwa -on- Offin and Akim Oda.