The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has for the third time extended the ban placed on all forms of small-scale mining.
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.
But speaking at an awards ceremony by the Bureau of Research, Governance, Commerce and Administration, the Lands and Natual Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu explained that his outfit had to extend the ban again after small scale miners failed to meet the target set for them to have it reviewed.
“The ban has invariably been extended because we have not lifted it. We met with the Association and clearly our targets have still not been met. The ban is still in force until we have reviewed our performance and given an indication of what to do next.”
The Minister also indicated that his outfit will maintain the moratorium on all activities of small-scale mining until it was convinced that, illegal mining, otherwise known as “galamsey” had been completely eradicated.
Talks over mining ban
The announcement of an extension comes weeks after the Minister had indicated that his outfit is holding talks with the Small Scale Miners Association on the possibility of lifting the ban.
Mr. Amewu stated that lot more needed to be done before the ban can be lifted.
He said though government had rolled out measures to clamp down on activities of illegal miners, results yielded so far in the crusade were still unsatisfactory.
The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale miners, whose members have been largely affected, had warned of dire consequences should the ban be extended again.
The Association urged the Ministry to lift the ban and rather ensure strict enforcement of the country’s mining laws.
‘Small-scale miners stage protest’
In September 2017, some small-scale miners in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, staged a demonstration against the ban,
Despite some police arrests and firing of tear gas at the protesters, the organizers described the demonstration as successful.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana