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Ban on small-scale mining to be lifted Monday Dec 17

BY: Graphic Online
Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng
Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng

The ban on small-scale mining will be lifted on Monday, December 17, 2018, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has announced.

Only companies that have had their licenses validated would be allowed to mine, the Minister said.

Announcing the lifting of the ban on Friday, at the launch of a new policy on small-scale mining in Accra, Prof Frimpong Boateng said the negative activities of illegal mining on the environment had been under-estimated before the ban.

He said it was until the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining hit the ground to ascertain the damage that it was realised that 10 percent of the countries land surface has been degraded and about $29billion is needed to recover it.

"Illegal mining operators were washing the ore and discharging waste products into rivers and water bodies that served as raw water sources for drinking. These wastes include mine tailings which are directly discharged into rivers."

The Minister said the ban was instituted to achieve sanitisation, regularisation and reform monitoring and enforcement.

He said the lifting of the ban will allow mining companies with valid company registration certificates, valid permits and licenses from the regulatory authorities, tax identification numbers and companies who have had their mining equipment licensed and electronically tagged by DVLA and whose concessions have been vetted.

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Professor Frimpong Boateng stressed that the lifting of the ban does not mean that, "the ban on galamsey has been lifted and they can go back to work. Galamsey is still illegal."

"Lifting of the ban does not mean that foreign miners who are hiding in Ghana or who escaped to neighbouring countries can come and continue their illegal activities, it does not mean security operations to enforce compliance with mining regulations and approved practices would be discontinued.

"Lifting of the ban does not mean that there will be no monitoring. The ban on small-scale mining is being lifted for the compliant ones to go back to work within the regularised and reformed framework. The list of compliant miners would be published in the electronic and print media on Monday 17th of December 2018. This information will be made available on the notice board of all the municipal and district assemblies."

More to follow...