Government has launched a new project aimed at curbing illegal mining activities in the country at least within the next five years.
To this end, it has commenced a multi-lateral mining integrated project which will regulate the activities of illegal miners and reduce the impact of destruction to the environment.
The project among others seeks to regulate the activities of the illicit miners or galamsey operators by allowing them access to mining sites, moving equipment, among others.
Speaking at the first stakeholders meeting on the multi-lateral mining integrated project, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu told Citi Business News the plan should bring sanity in the mining industry.
“Another difficulty is the inability of the small scale miners to make their activities bankable… if the illicit miners are given the conditions such as explored fields to give them reliable sites to mine, plus plant pool from which they will be able to get equipment and pay back subsequently, they will gradually move away from all the areas that they are currently working which is destroying the environment,” he said.
Galamsey activities have been blamed for the destruction of major water bodies and forest reserves in areas where the operations are rife.
This notwithstanding, some of the illegal miners have lost their lives while residents in some affected areas have also lost their agricultural farmlands to the illicit act.
A recent altercation between security officials and galamsey operators has led to a temporary shutdown of activities at Anglogold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine.
There has therefore been growing concern on the need for the government and relevant stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the canker.
But Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John-Peter Amewu further explained to Citi Business News he is highly confident the new approach will allow the government to duly sanction perpetrators of galamsey.
“We will make sure that gradually we take out galamsey out from the system…within a five year period, I think we should be able to minimize the impact of galamsey in Ghana,” he said.
The stakeholders’ meeting was attended by traditional authorities, officials from the Minerals Commission, representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, among others.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana
Published on 8 March 2017 | 5:00 pm at Source