The Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has called for the suspension of mining in the country for a year.
He believes the suspension will allow for a holistic review of the industry, particularly the laws regulating the sector.
The Okyehene made the call when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, paid a courtesy call on him on Thursday, May 27th, 2021, as part of his two-day tour of the Eastern Region.
“Looking at the problems right now, I think the President and the Ministry should sit down and put a one-year moratorium on the whole mining industry so that we can look at it carefully and make sure every licence is renewed. When we shut down, we will be able to find out who has the proper licence to operate.”
He also called for the decoupling of the Minerals Commission from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in order for the Commission to freely operate.
Touching on remuneration for mine workers, he noted that the disparity between the Ghanaian miner worker and others in other jurisdictions is too wide and must be looked at.
The Minister, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor, said all the issues and concerns raised by the Okyehene would be tabled for further deliberations.
The Okyehene’s comments come in the wake of the government’s renewed fight against illegal mining, which has led to the destruction of excavators and other equipment used for illegal mining activities.
The destruction of excavators and other mining equipment has been widely condemned by some persons who believe the seized equipment could serve other useful purposes, but the President has justified the move, daring persons who have been affected by the exercise to seek legal redress.
Small-scale mining activities were suspended for over a year to sanitize the sector and to deal with the menace of illegal mining head-on. But even after the long ban, illegal mining still persists, compelling the government to escalate its efforts in a renewed fight.