10 December 2018

Ghana: Small Scale Mining - Govt to Announce New Policy Friday

The government will on Friday announce a new policy framework for regularising and reforming mining activities in Ghana.

According to the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the announcement is expected to focus on how validated and legally responsible miners can mine after December 15 this year and processes towards dredging and land reclamation in affected mining areas.

Addressing the media at the Ministry's Press Briefing in Takoradi, he stated that the announcement would also detail out institutional reforms within the mining regulatory agencies, legal reforms in the mining sector as well as efforts to avert the resurgence of illegal and irresponsible mining in the country.

It would also include highlights of the new policy framework within which the more than 3,000 newly trained former illegal mining operators as well as some Ghanaians who are interested in mining could operate legally, Mr Nkrumah stated.

He, however, refuted speculations that the announcement would include the lifting of the moratorium on all small scale mining activities in the country which was instituted by government in March last year.

Ahead of the announcement, the minister said that the Inter Ministerial Committee on Small Scale Mining would give an update on the work done so far on combating illegal mining and the current status at today's National Policy Summit (NPS) which would he held at Takoradi.

The ban was to curb the growing trend that small scale mining was being used as a cover for irresponsible mining as well as illegal mining in many parts of the country.

The practice fast led to a degradation of the environment affecting severely rivers and forest reserves. In some cases it even led to a contamination of agricultural products as a result of the absorption of dangerous chemicals used.

Upon institution of the ban, a security operation, named Operation Vanguard was launched to enforce the ban.

Comprising military, police men and officers, the operation resulted in the arrest of several recalcitrant operators and the seizure of their equipment.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining, chaired by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, was established to supervise the ban and the transition to the new legal and well regulated mining regime.

Mr Nkrumah stated that the committee has completed its work and received cabinet approval to roll out the new framework.

He urged for cooperation between all stakeholders and the general public to ensure that the new phase was successfully rolled out.

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