Gov’t Not Against Mining, Register Your Concessions

– W/R Minister Tells Wassa Amenfi Miners

The youth in the Western Region, interested in mining, have been advised to duly register their sites with the various District Mining Committees, in order to mine in a responsible way, as government brings acquisition of license to their doorsteps.

Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, who made the call, said this is the only best way small-scale miners, would be allowed to go into mining without any harassment from the security agencies especially, Police and the military.

The regional minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Takoradi constituency said, often when security agencies invade sites to stop illegal mining activities, it is misconstrued to mean that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is anti-mining.

But he said this is far from the truth, as the NPP administration, only believes in responsible mining and once that is adhered to and the laws followed, miners have the right to do what is expected of them as legal miners.

Speaking at a recent programme to sensitize the youth about the need to religiously follow the laws on mining, Mr Darko-Mensah, said these District Mining Committees in the mining areas, exist for the benefits of the miners.

According to him, even though such invasions by the security officers may be undesirable by miners, they are necessary and implemented to ensure that the right people with the appropriate authorizations mine at the right places.

He stressed that, such operations are meant to curtail illegal mining activities popularly known as galamsey.

Darko-Mensah said, whiles these committees require the youth to register with them, they should ensure they meet the requirements for registration.

Mr Darko-Mensah, added that the youth were also advised to stay off water bodies and forest areas marked as ‘red zones’ where the law forbids mining.

The Minister stressed that Ghana, like any other mining nation, has signed agreements to ban the use of mercury and other dangerous substances that hurts the environment, so the government will continue to fight against the use of such chemicals.

He said, instead of the use of mercury, the President Akufo-Addo-led government, has introduced the popular ‘gold katcha’ equipment to encourage responsible mining.

He said the highly recommended machines come in sizes indicating that, even larger version exists and currently being used in the gold endowed areas like Tarkwa.

The Minister, indicated that some of these machines, can be sent to other areas to improve the small-scale mining business.

Also, he said government expect mining to be done within the right bracket without the use of children, as international bodies frown upon that.

According to the Minister, government is ready to patronize gold products from these miners for good money.

He said, this gold mined can be sold to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) or the Minerals Income and Development Fund for onward sale to better the economy.


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