The ban on small scale mining could soon be lifted, Lands and Natural Resource Minister has hinted. John Peter Amewu says President Nana Akufo-Addo would make an announcement to that effect soon.
He told the chiefs and people of Dunkwaw in the Central Region that, a road map which provides alternative livelihood to the miners and also ensure sustainable mining to be followed by the lifting ban, is being implemented.
Government placed a ban on small scale mining in June 2017, following widespread destruction of water bodies, land due to the application of harmful chemicals such as mercury and cyanide in small scale mining.
With the support of World Bank and other international organizations, government has introduced programs to provide alternative livelihood to the small scale miners.
It comes as government introduced sustainable mining training course for the miners.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu says over 1,000 small scale miners have benefited from the training.
He told members of the Denkyira Traditional Council, the government would soon lift the ban on small scale mining.
“This government is saying that you must do the mining in a more sustainable manner.
“It is not going to be too long His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would be lifting the ban on mining. But before that is done, he expects certain things to be put in order; which is the road map leading to the lifting of the ban,” he told the chiefs.
According to him, widespread concerns of use of harmful chemicals such as mercury and others which are dangerous to health of humans among others, informed government’s decision to ban small scale mining.
“Health concerns or health issues are becoming very critical for this country. Applications of mercury is very dangerous to our own health. Toxic metals in our products; in our cocoa farms in areas that we undertake farming activities is becoming a problem to this country,” he lamented.
Mr. Amewu who has been visiting some departments and agencies under his ministry in the Ashanti and Central regions.
He also inspected the Richie Plantations in Dunkwaw where two million oil palm seedlings would be supplied to miners free of charge as part of the alternative livelihood program.
Beneficiaries would be supplied with seedlings and transportation free of charge.
He wants small scale miners to take advantage of the project to improve their lot.
“Very soon, we would be distributing the seedlings to communities, youth and young ones that are interested in undertaking this farming project.
“It is on that note that we are paying a courtesy call on you, also to encourage you to talk to the young ones in the community that the seedlings would be distributed free of charge,” he appealed.
Meanwhile, new law courts are expected to be built in hot spots noted for illegal mining activities as part of efforts to clamp down on the menace.
Construction work on initial three courts is expected to start under the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project.
Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Peter John Amewu who disclosed this to journalists says the project is being implemented with the support of Attorney-General Ministry of Justice.