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Pressure Mounts On Gov’t To Lift Ban On Small-scale Mining

Government is under intense pressure from the Association of Small Scale Miners which insists it must live up to its promise of lifting the ban on small-scale and illegal mining.

The General Secretary of the Association’s taskforce, Godwin Armah said if the ban is not lifted, a lot of the illegal miners will find another means of mining.

He said as a task force they have helped with adherence to government’s directive to end illegal mining with the arrest of 632 illegal miners and 5,431 chamfin boats nationwide.

Last year, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, hinted that government may lift the ban by the end of January 2018.

The Akufo-Addo government placed a six-month ban on illegal mining as it has polluted many of the country’s water bodies.

In October 2017, the ban was extended for another three months, prompting protests by the Association of Small Scale Miners.

But speaking on Upfront with Raymond Acquah last year, Mr Amewu assured the ban will be lifted soon to enable the miners to work.

He said government was looking forward to undertaking an audit of the situation at the end of January 2018 and advice accordingly on lifting the ban.

The Minister, however, noted some factors would determine to lift the ban.

“The level of cleanliness of the river bodies, the number of people trained to ensure good mining processes and also the validation of the licenses of mining companies,” he said.

The duration of the ban elapsed Wednesday and the Association insists it is vital for government to lift the ban to stem the tide of illegal mining.

Will government lift the ban soon?

Mr Amewu told Latif Iddrisu Thursday that there is much to be done as far as clearing illegal miners who are still on site working despite the ban.

As a result of these activities, he said the water bodies have not cleared up enough, but he will not speak to when the ban will be lifted.

Meanwhile, there is supposed to be an inter-ministerial committee meeting Thursday afternoon after which a statement regarding the ban will be made.

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