Early next month government of Ghana would start vetting concessions granted small-scale miners in the country, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology Innovation Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng announced here on Thursday.
Addressing the media on government’s road-map to lifting the ban on small-scale mining Frimpong-Boateng who is chairman of Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining said the vetting exercise would be announced in the mass media as well as on social media to ensure transparency
Government of Ghana placed a ban on small-scale mining in the first quarter of 2017 to study and deal with activities of small-scale miners who had been accused of degrading the environment and polluting water bodies.
After a year of comprehensive research and careful consultation with all interest groups, the committee said it had completed the Road Map to be used in regulating the activities of the Small Scale Miners.
The vetting according to the minister will be followed by the setting of boundaries of all artisanal and small-scale mining concessions and these areas mapped out using the GNSS and Drone technology.
He assured the country that special identification cards would be issued to all miners, with licenses to ensure easy access of information.
“We have acquired a new software called Galamstop and drone tracking systems which will be used to monitor illegal mining related activities by the inter-ministerial committee,” the minister disclosed.
The new software according to the minister would integrate the activities of the agencies in charge of fighting illegal mining.
Ghana is Africa’s second largest gold producer after South Africa exporting more than three million ounces of gold annually.
Although the work of prevent illegal mining had some challenges, the minister expressed satisfaction at the level of success.
Gordon Armah, General Secretary of the Small-scale miners association of Ghana pledged the continued support of the association to efforts by government to clean up the sector.
He however expressed misgiving about the minister’s inability to announce a specific date for the lifting of the ban as the whole country was promised. Enditem