By Ernest Addo
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining, which, as part government’s effort to ensure sustainable mining and protect the environment, was constituted in March 2017, has completed the Road Map that would regulate the activities of the Small Scale Miners and guide their operations, Deputy Information Minister, Nana Dokua Asiamah-Adjei has said.
The Committee, led by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng will tomorrow- Thursday, August 16, 2018-outdoor the Road Map towards the lifting of the ban at the Ministry of Information at 10:00am, according to a release from the Information Ministry yesterday.
The mandate of the committee was to enforce the ban on Small Scale Mining and develop a comprehensive Road Map to guide the activities of Small Scale Miners.
Details of the Road Map are sketchy but President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, on Monday, 18th June, 2018, when he delivered the keynote address at a sensitization workshop for traditional and religious leaders and stakeholders on the elimination of illegal mining, at the Accra International Conference Centre, hinted that the comprehensive roadmap would involve the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined-out areas; the restoration of impacted water bodies; and strict supervision of the processes of awarding mining licenses and associated permits.
Additionally, the road map will incorporate the establishment of a mercury pollution abatement project; the implementation of alternative livelihood projects; systematic control of the engagement of excavators and changfans in mining areas; and continued formalisation and regulation of the small-scale mining sector.
“When the ban is lifted, you will have a responsibility, as was successfully discharged in the days of our forefathers, to continue to help preserve our lands, water bodies and environment,” the President said.
He continued, “We all have a duty to say no to galamsey for our own common survival and the survival of those who are to come. If we allow it, we are jeopardising both our present and our future. This cannot be over-emphasised.”
Recall that President Akufo-Addo, as part of efforts at dealing with the galamsey menace, set up at the level of the Cabinet, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, with the world-renowned scientist, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, in the chair.
The Committee, at the commencement of its work, recommended an initial 6-month ban on small scale mining activities, a request which was assented to by the President. The ban has, since been in force.