Don’t encroach on concessions of others – Deputy Lands Minister warns small scale miners

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, has warned small scale miners against encroaching on the concessions of others for mining.

According to him, per the new small scale mining regulatory regime, anyone who mines in unauthorised concessions would face the prescribed sanctions including cancellation of mining license.

“As part of new measures going forward, anyone who flout the basic regulation of not encroaching on an someone’s concession will be met with the full force it deserves. The sanctions will be applied and anyone caught can lose his or her license,” he stated.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at Bolgatanga yesterday during the inauguration of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Mining Committees in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and North East regions.

He reminded the committee members of their task of ensuring that mining institutions respect the dictates of the license granted them by Minerals Commission and prevent mining institutions from mining beyond their concessions.

Among some measures to fight illegal mining, he said, was the tracking of all earth-moving equipment to know the exact location the equipment were being used.

Mr Duker noted that additionally, the government had acquired speed boats and would recruit river wardens to patrol and prevent mining in water bodies.

He said the government would also strengthen the activities of Operations Halt II to flush out illegal mining operations in the forest zones.

He noted that the acquisition of ‘Gold Katchas’ was to enable small scale miners increase production and ensure compliance with the Minimata Convention on the reduction of mercury use.

The Deputy Minister asked the District Mining Committees to collaborate and work together with chiefs and other stakeholders to clamp down on illegal mining in their various regions.

He urged the Committees to be hands-on in their approach to supporting efforts to sanitise the sector by actively monitoring activities of small scale miners.

For small scale miners, the Deputy Minister asked them to discard all irresponsible mining practices and support the government in buildings profitable sector for all Ghanaians.

He charged the committee members to act above reproach and exhibit selflessness, fairness and firmness in their activities.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu appealed to the committees to work diligently to ensure that the regions benefit from the operations of small scale mining activities and elevate them from their current poverty level to prosperity.

Mr Animeyaw Somo Lucky Basintale, Municipal Chief Executive of Walewale, and chair of the committee in his area , who spoke on behalf of the committees lauded the ministry for its effort to improve the mining sector.

He affirmed the commitment of the committee members to supporting the ministry achieve its objective for the sector.


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