The Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission has organised a workshop to sensitise chiefs, assembly members and other players in the small mining sector of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on minerals and the mining laws.
The workshop, themed "Effective Monitoring and Sensitisation on Minerals and Mining Laws (Minerals and Mining Act, 703, 2006), and Mining Regulations at the Metro/Municipal/Districts levels," was held yesterday in Accra.
The Senior Inspector of Mines, Mr. Joseph Frimpong, coached the participants on processes and procedures by which individual small scale miners could obtain a permit and license to mine minerals.
He said the Minerals and Mining Act 703, 2006 mandates the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission as the lead agency responsible for conducting mines inspections and compliance/enforcement of the laws and regulations in the country.
"The Inspectorate inspects and monitors all mining, quarrying and winning of precious, industrial and building minerals operations," he added.
He stated that every mineral in its natural form, whether under or upon a land, rivers, streams, water-course, was vested in the President, who the people had entrusted power in.
He indicated that the law prohibits mining in water bodies, areas within townships, areas near high tension and railway lines, and wildlife sanctuaries and forest reserves.
The rest are cemeteries, mausoleums, sacred grooves, areas marked for development, and other areas pre-blocked out before licenses granted for mining activities.
He urged the participants to query miners over their type of licenses, since some mining operators were working with inappropriate licenses.
Mr. Frimpong charged the members to report issues of illegal mining to the Police Service and the Commission for the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.
He further pleaded with the police to sanction offenders before the High Court, and not the Magistrate Court.
Members of the Tipper Trucks Association (TTA) pledged to corporate with the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Police Service and other security agencies to protect the environment.