The Minerals Commission has begun investigating an alleged illegal mining in the Offin river.
In a statement, the Commission says, “the matter is being investigated and swift and ruthless action will be taken to deal with this and any other such illegal activities. Our resolve is resolute and total.”
This follows a video on social media about the unlawful activity.
Within the last two years, Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Commission, has introduced several measures to deal with illegal mining, popularly referred to as “galamsey”.
These measures include the introduction of Operation Halt II, engagement with relevant stakeholders, revamping of the Community Mining Scheme, geological investigation of designated areas to identify mineralized areas to be allocated to small-scale miners, the distribution of 100 mercury-free equipment to ensure responsible mining and the inauguration of District Mining Committees to monitor and supervise small scale operations.
All enforcement mechanisms as well as intelligence gathering have been enhanced on all fronts.
Furthermore, to effectively deal with illegal mining in water bodies, the MNLR recently commissioned five-speed boats which have been handed over to the Ghana Navy to patrol Rivers Ankobra, Pra, Offin, Birim and the Black Volta.
This is to ensure permanent patrols on the water bodies as a way of preventing illegal miners from returning to mine in our water bodies.
“The Commission wishes to reiterate its call to the media and the general public that the fight against illegal mining should be a collective effort of all citizens.”
“In this regard, the Commission encourages all and sundry to support it by making available any information on illegal mining activities such as the video in circulation, and such leads will be acted upon with dispatch and integrity. The Commission wishes to assure the Ghanaian public of its unflinching commitment in the fight to sanitize the small-scale mining sector,” the Commission added in its statement.