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Galamsey ban still in force – Frimpong-Boateng

The lifting of the ban on small-scale mining does not mean illegal mining also known as ‘galamsey’ will be permitted, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), has said.

Announcing the new reforms in the mining sector and the way forward for legitimate, regularised small-scale miners to commence operations, the Chairman of the IMCIM, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng was emphatic that the ban on galamsey was still in force, adding that the authorities will clamp down on anyone who flouts the ban.

“It does not mean the ban on galamsey has been lifted. Galamsey is still illegal,” Professor Frimpong-Boateng stated on Friday, 14 December 2018 in Accra.

He said small-scale miners and other individuals engaged in illegalities who wish to legitimise their operations have been trained at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and organised into community mining groups to help them obtain concessions to engage in sustainable operations that will not degrade the environment.

The Minister of Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation also said the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining “does not mean foreign miners who are hiding in Ghana or escaped into neighbouring countries can come and continue their illegal activities. It does not mean security operations to enforce compliance with mining regulations and approved practices will be discontinued. It does not mean there will be no monitoring of mining activities”.

Professor Frimpong-Boateng added that the “lifting of the ban [on small-scale mining] will allow mining companies with valid company registration certificates, valid permits and licences from regulatory authorities (Minerals Commission, EPA, and Water Resources Commission), Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), who have had their mining equipment licenced and electronically tagged by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and whose concessions have been vetted and given Quick Response code (similar to bar codes) to go back to work. Mining equipment, especially excavators and bulldozers that have not been licensed by DVLA and tagged with electronic monitoring devices by approved agents will not be permitted for mining purposes”.

All mining companies are expected to have at least one person trained in sustainable mining at UMaT, Tarkwa on site.

Professor Frimpong-Boateng added that the names of small-scale miners who are permitted to engage in mining activities will be published on Monday, 17 December 2018.

“All registered small-scale miners were given the opportunity to appear before a vetting committee to have their documents regularised. The ban on small-scale mining is being lifted for the compliant ones to go back to work within the regularised and reformed framework. The list compliant miners will be published in the electronic and print media on Monday, 17 December 2018. This information will be available on the notice board of the municipal and district assemblies,” he added.

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