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Pressure mounts on gov’t to lift ban on small scale mining

Miners in Ghana are getting impatient with government over the delay in lifting ban on small scale mining imposed in January 2017 for a period of six months.

The aggrieved miners lamented that the ban which has be extended three times already since last year has taken too long and adversely affecting their business.

According to them, they expected the joint military task force detailed to the mining communities to apprehend illegal miners to give way for licensed operators to get back to work.

“It has been over a year and half now since we were stopped from undertaking mining operations. We acquired licenses from the ministry to operate for 5 years. We didn’t conjure it in our homes. So the ministry should do due diligence to get us back to work.

“Supposing the fight to end galamsey extends to 3 years, will they reimburse us for the wasted years?” the president of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners lamented on Okay FM on Thursday.

He alleged that his many trips to the Ministry of Natural Resources has yielded no results, adding that, the sector minster, Peter Amewu, has said, he has no powers to lift the ban.

“So who should we go to?” he queried.

The president of the miners association observed that, recently, operation vanguard came out to say that they needed resources for night surveillance as some persons are still mining under cover, but added that, they (indigenous miners who where and when these stubborn ones operate.

“The military have been fighting for over a year to no end. Why won’t government engage us for practical strategies to end the canker so that the rest of us who are licenced can go about our normal businesses?

“This government promised us jobs, now, they have not just failed to honour it but have denied even more of their livelihood.

“We didn’t vote for this? We voted for jobs but we are highly disappointed in the turn of events” Mr. Peprah said.

Reacting to suggestions that affected miners should find alternative jobs, he said, “Most of us miners used our capital to acquire mining equipment for the business. Some even accessed loans to purchase them. How can we sell the machines to use the money accrued to start another business. Because of the ban, these machines have become redundant and no one will buy them.

Against that backdrop, he pleaded with government to heed to their call and lift the ban as live has become unbearable for the affected miners.

 

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