‘There’s no ban on small-scale mining; go back and mine responsibly’ – Mireku Duker tells licensed miners

A Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has urged members of the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale miners (GNASSM), to continue their mining activities responsibly.

He said there is no existing ban on small-scale mining.

Speaking at a meeting with the Association on Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Kumasi, the Deputy Minister reiterated President Nana Akufo-Addo’s commitment towards responsible mining, adding that “mining support Ghana’s economy hence, the government has not and will not ban mining in the country.”

He said the government expects the legal Small-Scale miners to engage in responsible and sustainable mining.

“Your mining activities should match your licenses acquired” he advised.

He however warned that the government would not condone irresponsible mining.

The Ministry, he said, will soon set up a task force to monitor the operations of miners across the country, stressing that “we want you to do the right things, drop your old self and take on your new clothes in mining.”

Responding to questions on the community mining scheme, the Deputy Minister said, the government will engage the Association in the scheme to ensure inclusiveness at all levels of mining operations.

On Operation Halt, he said the Military has been assigned a specific task to protect water bodies and forest reserves and advised members of the Association to display their addresses in their respective concessions to prevent unwarranted encounters with the Military task force.

The Deputy Minister also announced a yearly award scheme for the best Small-Scale mining concessions, an initiative which will begin this year to demonstrate best practices and encourage other miners to emulate.

The Vice President of the Association, Sampson Kofi Wiredu, expressed worry about the activities of some soldiers under Operations Halt, saying miners were losing their investments as a result.

He noted that the assurances of the Deputy Minister had given the Association the renewed interest and confidence in the government and the sector minister to safeguard legitimate miners.

The Members of the Association pledged their commitment to support government to win the fight against illegal mining.

They were drawn from the various mining districts including Wa, Tarkwa, Babiani, Dunkwa -on- Offin, and Akim Oda.