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Government lauded for reviewing mining regulations

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Officials of the Minerals/Mining Commission have hailed government for reviewing the regulations of the minerals and mining act as it would go a long way to eliminate illegal activities in the sector.

The officials, Mr Evans Adadey, Principal Inspector of Mines and Mr Desmond Boahen, Inspector or Mines, noted that nuisances that hinder the growth of the industry like mining in the river bodies and foreigners actively engaging in the business should stop under the new regulation passed in June this year.

The officials expressed these sentiments at a day’s workshop organized by the Takoradi office of the Commission for mineral and mining industrial operators in the Western Region at Takoradi.

The workshop aimed at sensitizing the operators on the new regulations of Act 703 of 2012 in order for them to comply with its contents.

Speaking on “health, safety and explosive regulation”, Mr Adadey noted that the old regulation of Act 703 of 2006 had serious challenges which did not address pertinent issues concerning their operations.

The two officials said under the new regulations while surface mining and dredging are permitted, offences attracting severe punishment include mining in or close to river bodies, foreigners actively participating in the business.

According to them, the new regulation if strictly adhered to, would allow mining operation in the country to conform to international practices.

To ensure that the new regulations work perfectly, Mr Adadey called for extra vigilance from all stakeholders like the traditional authorities, operators, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to expose those who operate illegally.

The Principal Inspector noted that these stakeholders live in the communities therefore should be able to know which areas that illegal mining take place to the appropriate quarters for action to be taken on them.

Failure to expose illegal mining activities and unsafe mining practices, that degraded or polluted the environment amounts to connivance to offence and must not be tolerated he added.

He called for proper disposal of remnants of mining activities by creating embankments for dumping in order not to harm the health of the surrounding community of their operation areas.

To prevent encroachment on their concessions, Mr Adadey urged the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to factor into their planning buffer zones for small scale mining operators who comprise those into sand winning, quarries, and kaolin, salt among others.

Mr Boahen spoke on “mineral property and rights” and entreated operators and stakeholders to study the new regulation and conform to the contents so that they are not caught up with the law.

He warned against the submission of false documents to the Mineral/ Mining Commission as culprits would be made to face the law.

During discussion period, the mineral/mining operators noted that vital business like small scale mining was reserved for Ghanaians only and therefore appealed to the government to rid it of all foreigners.

They alleged that Ghanaians front for the Chinese to secure documentation for their business and later hand over to them for operation which is against the laws of the nation.

To that effect, the operators appealed to all the authorities involved in the issuance of documents for mining operation in the country to scrutinize particulars and embark of active investigations before processing the documents.

The operators further appealed to the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to charge uniform fees concerning their operation in the areas complaining of differences in the charging of fee.

They also stressed the need for the decentralization of processing of documents as this could be done in the various regional offices to time, save cost and risk.

Source: GNA

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