The Minerals Commission will rise to the occasion and make the implementation of the roadmap to the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining a success, Mr Joseph Albert Quarm, a member of the commission, has said
He stated that the commission would ensure the protection of the environment, water bodies and forests when the ban was lifted.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the role of the commission, Mr Quarm, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Manso Nkwanta, said the commission had been equipped with the resources to fulfil the task.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), headed by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, was constituted last year to enforce the ban on small-scale mining.
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The committee was also to develop a comprehensive roadmap to guide the activities of small-scale miners to ensure sustainable mining and protect the environment.
At a news conference in Accra last week, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the Minerals Commission would be the key implementation agency for the roadmap.
It would, among other things, monitor to ensure compliance and enforcement of the regulations
Traditionally, the commission, as part of its functions, is required to monitor the implementation of laid-down government policies on minerals and report to the sector minister.
It is also required to monitor the operations of all the bodies or establishments with responsibility for minerals and report to the minister.
However, the commission had come under criticism over the years for not doing much in its monitoring activities, a development believed to have contributed to promoting illegal mining.
Mr Quarm, who is a land reclamation expert, said the expansion of district offices of the commission from 12 to 33 and the procurement of pickup vehicles and motorbikes would enhance monitoring activities.
He added that 600 guards had also been recruited through the Youth Employment Programme(YEP) to assist in the exercise.
The MP stated that coordination between the Minerals Commission and other essential agencies such as the Water Resources Commission and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) were key in arriving at a successful roadmap implementation.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had proven beyond all doubt that he was determined to sanitise the mining sector for which reason he deserved commendation and the support of all