Government will on Friday 14 December 2018, announce a new policy framework for regularizing and reforming mining activities in Ghana.
The announcement comes twenty one (21) months after a ban was imposed on illegal, irresponsible as well as small scale mining activities in the country.
Speaking to journalists in Takoradi, the Minister for Information Kojo Opong Nkrumah mentioned that while some have speculated a lifting of the ban, government he said has been quick to correct that what will be announced is a new policy framework within which the over 3,000 newly trained former galamsey operators as well as thousands more who are interested in mining can operate legally.
It will be recalled that the ban was imposed in March 2017 when it was observed that small scale mining was being used as a cover for irresponsible mining as well as even 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”, he said.
Adding that upon institution of the ban, a security operation known as Operation Vanguard was launched to enforce the ban. The operation comprising military and police men and officers has largely been successful in containing the situation. Several recalcitrant operators were also arrested and their equipment seized.
According to the minister an Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining which was established to supervise the ban and the transition to the new legal and well-regulated mining regime has completed its work and received cabinet approval to roll out the new framework which will be out doored on Friday evening the 14th December 2018.
The announcement will outline how validated and legal responsible miners can mine after the 15th of December 2018. Processes towards dredging and land reclamation in affected areas. Thirdly, institutional reforms within the mining regulatory agencies and legal reforms in the mining sector will also be spelt out as well as efforts to avert a resurgence of illegal and irresponsible mining.
“It is our expectation that stakeholders and the general public will continue to cooperate with authorities even as this new phase is rolled out.”
Kojo Ennimil Arthur | Beachfmonline.com | Ghana