Investigation process of gold discovered at Elmina to be fast tracked – Minister

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Mike Hammah, has said investigation to ascertain whether the gold discovered at Elmina beach is mineable would be fast tracked.

He said initial investigations conducted by the Minerals Commission confirmed it to be gold but not in large quantity and added that there was the need to conduct further investigations to ascertain  the source and history of the gold before allowing large scale mining to take place.

Mr Hammah said this when he visited Elmina beach to have  a first- hand information on the discovery of gold at Eyisa beach near the Benya Lagoon at Elmina three weeks ago.

The minister,  who addressed more than 200 youth who had planned to demonstrate against a ban imposed by the Omanhen of the Edina traditional area, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, on mining along the beach, urged them to exercise restraint and wait for the outcome of the investigations.

Mr Hammah said there were important rules governing the exploration of all mineral resources found in any part of the country.

He said Article 257 sub-section 6 of the constitution indicates that every mineral in its natural state in, under or upon any land  in Ghana is the property of the Republic of Ghana and shall be vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of Ghana.

He said the gold discovered is the property of  Ghana and not any individual  member of the public and that the necessary measures would be put in place to protect the mineral from  being explored indiscriminately.

Mr Hammah said if the investigations are completed and it is confirmed that the gold found is mineable, appropriate mechanisms would be put in place for people to acquire the requisite licenses that would enable them to go into large scale mining.

He said if the appropriate measures were not put in place to prevent people from illegal mining in the area it would seriously erode the embankment of the sea which could create health and environmental problems in future.

Mr Hammah appealed to the Paramount Chief, the municipal assembly members and other stakeholders to educate the public on the need to be patient and to obey all rules and regulation governing mining in the country.

Some the miners the GNA spoke to expressed their satisfaction with the swift response of the ministry and asked for fast investigations to ascertain whether the gold could be  mined to enable them to acquire licenses to operate.

He said times were difficult because they had abandoned their fishing business to do illegal mining and that the ban was having a negative  effect on them and their families.

Source: GNA

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