Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kofi Asoma Cheremeh has hinted that the ban on small scale mining will be lifted by end of 2018.
The Minister who although could not specify the month and day told journalists that plans are underway for a final decision to be made.
“…the ban will soon be lifted but the exact date is what I cannot say for now. I believe the inter-ministerial committee on illegal mining will soon attend a meeting and that discussion will come off for us to know when it will be lifted; but I believe that it will soon, maybe before next year it would have been lifted.” He noted
Mr. Asoma Cheremeh made the revelation on the sidelines of his visit to the Minerals Commission in Accra.
He commended the staff and management for their efficiency and productivity and urged them to eschew activities which will bring the institution and by extension the NPP government’s name into disrepute.
He noted that there were reports that there were officials of the commission who were aiding galamsey operators as well as issuing licence to small scale miners despite the ban placed on the activity.
Government placed an indefinite ban on all small scale mining activities after launching a full-fledged attack on the Galamsey in the country.
Former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu announced during his tenure that the directive was put in place to protect the country’s waterbodies which were fast losing their potability due to contamination as a result of mining activities of Galamsey operators.
In February 2017, the government imposed a six-month ban on all forms of small-scale mining in a bid to clamp down on the destructive activities of illegal miners.
The ban, which was initially expected to be lifted by the end of October, last year, was extended by another three months.
Following that extension, the Small-Scale Miners Association of Ghana has on many occasions impressed on the government to lift the ban.
The government, however, indicated that it was rolling out the Multi-sectoral Integrated Mining Project (MMIP) and alternative livelihood projects after which the modalities for the lifting of the ban would be spelt out.