The group said the decentralization would enable the miners to easily regularize their activities and control illegal-mining as well as reduce corruption and unnecessary delays in acquiring permit.
Mr Peter Donkor, National Vice Chairman of the Association, made the call at stakeholders meeting on the Minerals and Mining Act (703), organized by the association with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC), in Sunyani.
He noted that the provision in the Minerals and Mining law (Act 703) that mandates only the Minister of Mines and Energy (in Accra) to issue mining permit to small scale miners needed to be amended.
He said some illegal miners had failed to regularize their operations because of the cumbersome process involved in obtaining mining permit.
Mr Donkor said Act 703 had in addition only placed emphasis on gold, bauxite and diamond without given specifications in the areas of sand and stone indicating that the Act needed to be amended a eliminate illegal mining operations in the country.
He explained that as stipulated in the Minerals and Mining Law, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies needed to establish Small Scale Mining Committees at the district level, especially where small scale mining and sand/stone winning are being done.
Mr Donkor said that the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency ought to extend their operations to mining communities and monitor activities of both small and large scale miners.
Mr Gabriel Benrakuu, the Association’s BUSAC service provider, explained that the BUSAC Fund aimed at contributing to the creation of a more enabling business environment for development and growth of the private sector.
This, he said was achieved by empowering business membership organizations, trades unions and the media, to influence public policy formulation by undertaking appropriate research, developing evidence-based policy positions through advocacy.