The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has set up a Rapid Response Taskforce to augment the efforts of the government’s anti-illegal mining taskforce, Operation Halt.
This comes on the back of reports of the return of illegal mining activities on River Ankobra.
So far about seventeen (17) Changfang machines on the Ampansie-Dominase stretch of the river have been destroyed after a swoop by the Nzema East Municipal Security Council on Monday, August 16, 2021.
This was made known by the Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister in Charge of Mines, George Mireku Duker.
According to him, the government is not going to renege on its renewed commitment to ending the illegal mining menace.
He insisted that anyone still engaged in the act will be dealt with.
“We are going to clamp down on all recalcitrant illegal miners and as I speak now, a taskforce has been commissioned by the minister himself called rapid response team so if there is a distress call, this rapid response unit will attend to those calls as soon as practicable.”
He also cautioned miners to desist from breaching the directive on the ban on mining in water bodies, saying anyone caught will not be spared.
“Operation Halt takes a measure, and you come back to mine irresponsibly in our river bodies. This is uncalled-for and those doing that, I am using your medium to sound a caution to them to move out of our river bodies because if you are caught, you will not be spared.”
The government has gone hard with its latest fight, including the use of the military and the burning of seized equipment from illegal mining sites.
There are those who think setting the equipment ablaze is wrong and rather believe that the seized equipment must be used for other equally important national activities.
Others have also raised questions about the legality of the action since the Minerals and Mining Act does not recommend the destruction of seized equipment.
President Akufo-Addo has however dared those who disagree with the burning of such confiscated equipment to go to court.