The Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining will by Tuesday December 11, present its report to President Akuffo-Addo.
The Committee was set up to vet registered small scale miners in the country to streamline their operations and make recommendations to the President to lift the ban on illegal mining.
Following the widespread devastation of water resources and forest reserves as a result of the activities of illegal mining, government in January 2017 placed a ban on small-scale mining for six months.
The ban was however extended for some more months till a substantive decision is taken.
But now, over 900 small scale miners have been vetted by the committee as part of a road-map that will culminate into the lifting of the ban on all forms of small scale mining.
Speaking to Citi News, the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue, said a decision on the lifting of the ban may be taken after Tuesday.
“The timelines lie with the vetting that is being done. If we are able to submit the report then a decision will be made. The report should go to the President by Tuesday.”
“My job is to do that and give it to the committee and cabinet members. They will then forward it to the Chief of Staff who will then forward it to the President to take a decision on it, he added.
Gov’t to lift ban on small-scale mining by December
Government gave the assurance that it may lift the ban on all forms of small-scale mining by the end of 2018.
Professor Frimpong Boateng, Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Task-force Against Illegal Mining, who spoke on Citi TV’s CNR, was optimistic that small-scale miners would be able to return to work by December.
“We need to go through the process; then maybe after three weeks or a month, we will be able to know the exact date because we were supposed to have started on the 8th of August… and we have lost eight days.”
“So that is why if we had given a date last week, it would have been wrong, so we want to be very careful not to disappoint them, but definitely they will be able to go to work before Christmas,” he stated.
Don’t lift ban on small-scale mining – CSIR cautions gov’t
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has warned the government against lifting the ban on small-scale mining anytime soon.
It said the country’s water bodies and environment are still in a bad state due to the devastating effects of illegal small-scale mining still ongoing in some parts of the country.
According to the CSIR, lifting the ban will only worsen the situation of the country’s water bodies and land resources.
The Chief Research Scientist at CSIR Water Research Institute, Dr. Kankam Yeboah, said the polluted water bodies must be given enough time to get back to their natural state.
“Educate the public to see the need to stop. I won’t do that as long as we still find the recalcitrant ones doing that illegal mining. You can’t just lift it and say that is the end. Regeneration of this water and putting them right again is not an overnight process…. Let’s say you stop galamsey today, within 2 years. Once you stop, the natural system takes care of itself,” he said.
By: Nii Larte Lartey & Kojo Agyemang | citinewsroom.com | Ghana