Roll out policy to streamline illegal mining – NGO tells Minerals Commission
Mr Gabriel Benarkuu, Chief Executive Officer of Mission of Hope Society (MIHOSO), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has called on the Minerals Commission to design a policy that will accommodate and recognise illegal miners and thereby streamline their activities.
He said when such a policy guideline is put in place, that allows for the registration and the issuance of operational permits, the enforcement of laws and regulations could be stringently applied to check the excesses of the miners.
Contributing to an open forum at a sensitization workshop in Sunyani, Mr Benarkuu said illegal miners made millions of profit every week but because their operations are regarded as illegal they evade and pay no tax.
The Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission organised the workshop, which was aimed at sensitizing the more than 120 participants including traditional rulers, assembly members, District and Municipal Chief Executives and other key stakeholders in the mining sector on the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (Act 703).
Mr Benarkuu said for such a policy guideline to be put in place, a national consultation seminar could be organised at the regional and district levels to collate views from the general public.
He expressed concern that due to the illegal nature of their activity, many of such miners operate mostly at night to outwit security agencies and this posed a threat to their lives and the environment.
Mr Joseph Frimpong, Senior Mine Inspectorate at the Commission, said “every mineral in its natural state in, under or upon a land in Ghana, rivers, streams, water courses throughout the country is vested in the president in trust for the people of Ghana”.
He said “where land is required to secure the development or utilization of a mineral resource, the President may acquire or authorize its occupation and use under an applicable enactment for the time being in force”.
Mr Frimpong advised small scale miners to apply for their mineral rights or permits before partaking in any commercial mining exploitation.