Effective Monday 17 December, 2018, all vetted small scale miners can resume operations at their mining concessions. The announcement which was made this morning by the Chair for the Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Prof Frimpong Boateng, during the outdooring of a new Policy Framework on the Regularising/ Reforming Mining activities in Ghana, is a long awaited relief sought by eligible small scale miners.
President Nana Addo in his wisdom placed a moratorium on small scale mining in the country in February 2017 following a rather devastating revelation of the extent to which our water bodies and natural environment are being polluted by illegal miners.
In his address at the outdooring of the new policy framework, Prof. Frimpong Boateng stated that “the ban on small scale mining is being lifted as from Monday 17 December, 2018 for miners who have gone through the vetting successfully to go back to work within the regularised /reform framework”
A series of activities have since been taken in an effort to sanitise and reform the small scale mining sector. Today, at the Accra International Conference Center, the IMCIM headed by Prof Frimpong highlighted sections of the reform strategies taken to guide the resumption on small scale mining operations in the country.
The recommendations made the by IMCIM to cabinet for the reforms included:
- Halt operational activities in large scale mining companies employing small scale technology
- Abolish the tributary system that allows business people to acquire large concessions and parcel them out to small scale miners
- Abolish the practice of bulk sampling, where mining companies that have prospecting permits actually engage in mining under the guise of bulk sampling
- Halt the practice whereby mining companies abuse prospecting license and engage in actual mining without mining license
- Amend laws that allow foreigners to provide big services to small scale miners
- Ban the fabrication, transportation, and use of dredging mining equipment on water bodies (popularly known as Chanfang)
- Establish a regime to legalise community mining
Professor Frimpong Boateng intimated that only miners who have been subjected to the IMCIM’s vetting and validation exercises shall be permitted to work on their concessions.
“Lifting of the ban will allow mining companies with valid company registration certificates, valid permits and licenses from the regulatory authorities, Minerals Commission, EPA and Water Resources Commission, Tax Identification Numbers, companies who have had their mining equipment licensed and electronically hacked by the DVLA and who’s concessions have vetted and given a queue uphold to go back to work Mining equipment especially Excavators and Bulldozers that have not been licensed by DVLA and tagged with electronic devices will not be permitted to for mining purposes, Small scale mining purposes. All mining companies are expected to have this one person that have been trained in sustainable Mining in Tarkwa”, Prof Frimpong Boateng clarified.
He warned that persons; Ghanaians or foreigners engaged in illegal mining will have themselves to be dealt with accordingly when caught.
“The lifting of the ban does not mean that the ban on galamsey has been lifted and that they can go back to work. Galamsey is still illegal. So called Galamseyers have been trained at UMaT and organised into community mining groups. Lifting of the ban does not mean that foreign miners who are hiding in Ghana, who are living in neighbouring countries can come and continue with their illegal activities. It does not mean that security operations to enforce compliance with approved practices will be discontinued. Lifting of the ban does not mean that there will be no monitoring”, he cautioned.
Story: Abraham Mensah/ Skyy News