The Minerals Commission of Ghana is considering a suspension of the issuance of new licenses for small scale mining, to enable an overhaul of the country’s mining sector.
This is in a bid to deal with the illegal mining menace which has resulted in dire consequences on water bodies and the environment in general.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubyn, who made the revelation on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, March 30, 2017, said his outfit is preparing a memo to be issued to the sector minister to that effect.
He said his ideal suggestion was to suspend all forms of mining activities in the country, but that could not be enforced because it will unfairly affect the operations of miners whose operations were legitimate.
“Actually, we are preparing a memo to our minister to possibly place a moratorium on the issuance of fresh licenses on small scale mining. I have had this suggestion that we should suspend all kinds of mining which is not a bad idea, but you know, you have to look at the legal implications and other implications. And the fact that if some people are doing the right thing, you cannot punish them because others are not doing the right thing. These are being considered.”
He added that, an audit will be conducted to determine a concrete action plan to halt the alarming activity if the proposal is approved.
“We will prepare a memo for him to look at it, initially to put a moratorium on all applications for small-scale mining for a period that he will determine. And there we can do an audit of the existing ones and other actions that have been planned.
For instance, the Minister in collaboration with the Minerals Commission has put in place – MMIP; Multilateral Mining Improvement Project, which includes the use of our own policies and enforcing the laws, applying technology and also proposing alternative livelihood mechanisms for those who might be affected by the fact that they have been stopped from this illegal mining activities.”