Minerals Commission to begin registration of illegal miners

The Minerals Commission will from the first week of April begin a nationwide regis-tration of illegal miners in order to organise them into co-operatives for easy regularisation.

The registration is to be done in collaboration with other institutions, experts and the respective district assemblies.

Dr Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer of the commission, said each group or co-operative would have a clear structure with key responsibilities and be given training to conduct their activities in a safe and environmentally appropriate manner.

Dr. Aubynn, who was speaking at a press conference on Thursday, said under the model, all registered members of the various co-operative groups would be issued with personal identity cards and their activities monitored by mining wardens across the country.

“The registered co-operative groups will be provided with the necessary technical support to enable them mine profitably, efficiently and sustainably,” he said.

Also, the commission will continue to earmark grounds with some geological investigations on them to identify suitable areas for small-scale mining.

Such grounds will be made available for the registered co-operative groups at a minimum fee to partly pay for the cost of the geological studies.

He said in addition to the measures underway a proposal to track earth moving equipment in mining areas had received favourable response from the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.

Dr. Aubynn said in line with the requirements of the Minerals and Mining Act 30 district mining committees (DMCs) had been formed.

Currently, 24 out of these DMCs have been inaugurated and have started functioning. Nine out of the 24 DMCs have been trained in policy and legal issues.

He said the district mining committees by law would be supporting the various district offices of the Minerals Commission in managing the small-scale mining activities at the district level.

“It is our firm conviction that, with the training offered them, they will be able to complement the commission’s efforts at implementing initiatives to sanitise the small-scale mining sub-sector,”Dr Aubynn added.

The commission called on all unlicensed miners to look forward to forming co-operatives to regularise their operations to enjoy technical assistance, and supervision provided by government to enable them operate in a conducive environment, as well as mine profitably.

GNA

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