The Ghana Chamber of Mines is providing €700,000 for repair works on three specialised aircraft to be deployed to aid the fight against illegal mining in the country.
The three aircraft, currently stationed at the Takoradi Airforce Base in the Western Region, had been out of service since 2014.
According to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, the aircraft, when operational, would undertake Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognisance (ISR) survey of illegal mining areas.
Addressing journalists during an inspection tour of the aircraft on Friday, Mr Duker noted that the repair works was expected to last six months with funding from the Ghana Chamber of Mines.
He said the servicing works on the aircraft would see, among other things, the replacement of scratches, hard drives, outdated softwares and engines.
The deployment of the aircraft, the deputy minister explained, was to intensify the fight against illegal mining and build close collaboration between the government, Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Air Force for timely data and information to help deal with the menace.
Mr Duker explained that a report on the state of the aircraft would be prepared and submitted by the Committee engaged to work on the aircraft to both the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the Chamber of Mines.
He said the government took the option of repairing the aircraft rather than purchasing new ones because it was cost-effective and serves the same purpose as new equipment.
"This is an effort we are making to clamp down on recalcitrant persons who are still determined to destroy our industry. We want to streamline and regulate activities in the mining sector.
"We believe that it is cost-effective compared to procuring drones and other equipment. Though drones may have their efficiencies, this could be in the air for hours without being noticed and collect evidence that can be used in the court of law," Mr Duker stated.
He commended the Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Armed Forces for their patriotic effort towards the fight against illegal mining in the country.