Government crackdown on foreigners who buy gold illegally


The Government will soon clamp down on foreigners engaging in illegal gold buying in the country, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr George Mireku Duker, announced.

These foreign nationals smuggle the gold to their respective countries without paying legitimate taxes to the government.

Mr Duker, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency, disclosed this in an engagement with the Tarkwa gold buyers’ association.

“I am advising Ghanaians involved in the gold buying trade to refrain from purchasing the gold for foreigners because the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) states that all small-scale mining activities must be done by the indigenes.

“The activities of small-scale miners, which include gold buyers have not had much influence on them, their communities and where they operate because after these miners extract the gold they sell same to the foreigners, “he stated.

The MP emphasized that the government would build the capacity of gold buyers to acquire the needed license to buy the gold independently adding, “It’s not always that the government will be harassing people, his intension is to create an enabling environment for you to go about your business smoothly.”

Mr Duker explained that the establishment of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) in Tarkwa would aid in building the capabilities of the gold buyers to be safe in the business, added that, “You need to put an end to this unlawful practice because the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is ever ready to support you to do the right thing.”

He expressed worry on the excessive use of mercury by small scale miners in Tarkwa to take out gold, the report on my table is frightening.

“Heating of mercury releases mercury vapour into the atmosphere and has numerous implications on human health. It can cause birth defects. If we do not end these negative practices, it will affect the forthcoming generation” he said.

In addition, the Deputy Minister assured Ghanaians that the government was developing several technologies that would help small -scale miners to extract gold without the use of mercury.

Mr Duker said similar engagements would be held across all the mining communities in the country to encourage the gold buyers to locally trade among themselves.

Alhaji Dauda Sulemanu, Chairman of the Tarkwa Gold Dealers Association, expressed gratitude to the MP for the information, and pledged to ensure that their members would
adhered to the directive by the government.

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