Economic experts and environmentalists have advised government to develop strong laws and regulations that would help to efficiently regulate the small mining sector in a bid to protect the environment.
Nicolas Torgensen Gebara, Fund Manager of BUSAC Fund in an interview said the state needs to develop strong laws and regulations to regulate small scale activities. These laws, he said will compel small scale miners to comply with the set regulations.
“Responsible mining is key and necessary. In my opinion, small scale mining should be allowed but the operators must be made to comply with the law.
As you know, large scale miners are foreigners who end up repatriating all their investments. The small scale miners are locals whose investments would remain here in Ghana, create jobs, and feed the local jewelry
Following the widespread devastation of water resources and forest reserves as a result of the activities of illegal mining, government, in January 2017 placed a ban on small scale mining for a period of six months. The ban was however extended in October 2017, for another three months, which ended in January 2018.
The ban which, was expected to be lifted by the end of October last year, was extended for three more months – prompting protest by the Small-Scale Miners Association.
According to the Land and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, the extension is to allow government monitor developments in the sector before implementation of the five-year Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP) it is considering.
But the small-scale miners have pointed out that the modus operandi adopted by the government is wrong. They believe the government must delink galamsey from small-scale miners who operate legally – those who operate with license – in this endeavor.
Meanwhile The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) has disclosed that the industry has lost some US$551million and still counting due to the ban placed on their operations by government. It has therefore called on government to immediately lift the ban in order to save the industry from collapse.
President Akufo-Addo assured that government will soon lift the ban placed on small-scale mining. According to Nana Addo, he is only waiting on the Presidential Task Force Committee to advice on the next line of action.
By Adu Koranteng