‘Expedite process to lift ban on legitimate small-scale mining’
The Ghana National Association of Small-scale Miners (GNASSM) has called on the government to speed up the processes towards lifting the ban on legitimate small-scale mining.
It said while the process was underway, the association would continue to engage and support the government, particularly the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Mining (IMCM), as it implemented the road map to pave the way for its members to go back to work.
At a media briefing in Accra yesterday, the Operations Director of the GNASSM, Mr Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi, asked all small-scale miners to join the association as it instituted measures to streamline its activities in line with acceptable mining practices.
Some of the reforms, according to Mr Antwi, included a "peer review mechanism where members will collaborate with other stakeholders to encourage and enforce internationally acceptable, responsible and sustainable mining".
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He added that the GNASSM would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Minerals Commission to streamline its self-regulation drive and code of practice for miners.
“The association will also embark on a campaign and resource support project to encourage many of its members to mine ore without the use of harmful chemicals,” he stated.
The measures, Mr Antwi said, would be monitored by a mine management committee, as well as compliance officers, to ensure compliance with good practices at mining sites.
Consequently, he said, the association would identify non-members of GNASSM, including illegal miners who had undergone training at the Paa Grant University of Mines in Tarkwa, and register them in the various mining districts and group them into cooperatives to enable them to participate in community mining programmes.
Touching on the enforcement of the law on illegal mining which led to the 18-month-old ban, he commended Operation Vanguard and the GNASSM National Task Force for the successes achieved so far, saying: “We can visibly see improvement in some river bodies that were polluted by illegal dredgers.”
Mr Antwi reiterated the continued support of the association for Operation Vanguard and called on the government to also resource “our national task force”.
He further appealed to the government to bear the cost of transporting mining equipment to a centralised location or the tracking devices as part of the road map.
He also urged members of the association to make their documents, such as licences, available to expedite the vetting and verification process.