Ban on ‘Galamsey’ still in force – President
He, however, said the ban on small-scale mining had been lifted.
President Akufo-Addo said this on Thursday when he delivered his third State of the Nation Address to parliament in Accra.
He explained that the ban on small-scale and illegal mining was to release the pressure on the lands and water bodies as farmlands were destroyed, rivers and streams that provided potable water and fish were contaminated.
“Some of our water bodies have shown remarkable signs of rejuvenation. River Ankobra, for example, looks restored to life; indeed, some fish have even been seen in the Ankobra for the first time in a long while,” he noted.
The President, however, added that the battle against “galamsey” was nowhere near being won yet, and appealed to the citizens to be part of the battle to keep the lands and water bodies safe.
President Akufo-Addo said: “this is why we placed the ban on all small-scale mining, so we could find ways to deal with the illegal mining, or galamsey, as it is popularly called. The ban on small scale mining has now been lifted, but not on galamsey”.
He said, the government could not be against mining, adding that, with the Almighty God having blessed Ghana with so many precious minerals, mining, inevitably, would be part of the lives of the citizenry.
“That is why I had the pleasure of re-opening the AngloGold Obuasi Mine, on January, 22nd, 2019, which had remained effectively closed since 2014, in fulfilment of a campaign pledge I made to the people of Obuasi on 15th July, 2016,” he emphasised.
He said to help Anglogold Ashanti secure the needed investment for the project, government provided a number of fiscal incentives and guaranteed the stability of the project against changes in the legal environment, especially in the early years of the mine’s operations.
President Akufo-Addo said the fiscal arrangements made, has provided a more equitable balance between government’s interests and that of investors.
He disclosed that about 2,500 Ghanaians would be employed as Obuasi was being brought back to life again and under a new management of AngloGold Ashanti, the development of Obuasi would reflect the wealth of its soil as its counterparts in other mining cities around the world.
Nana Akufo-Addo hinted that Ghana would mine the Bauxite deposits to establish an integrated aluminium industry in Ghana, saying, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation, a statutory corporation, had been set up with support of Parliament to spearhead government’s commitment to create an integrated aluminium industry.
“Plans were underway to secure stable power supply for the process and same model was being pursued for the exploitation of the iron ore deposits, which, together with the country’s considerable manganese deposits, can enable Ghana found a steel industry to serve Ghana and the region.
“A data centre, the first of its kind, now exists at the Minerals Commission, which will allow prospective investors and partners to access every information regarding the bauxite deposits and the aluminium industry. The Minerals Commission is in the course of creating an equivalent data centre for our iron ore deposits,” he stated.