The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has asked small-scale miners at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region to strictly adhere to mining laws and regulations in their operational activities.
He has, therefore, warned thatactivities of illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, would be resisted using all means, adding that “there would be no space for any illegal small-scale mining.”
He said the government would continue to ensure the strict regulation of the mining sector to prevent illegal mining activities.
The Minister said this yesterday when engaged members of the Small-scale Miners Association fromDunkwa, Fomena, Obuasi and other places.
The engagement was part of the Minister’s two-day working visit to the Ashanti Region.
MrJinapor said the Ministry was opened to collaboration, deliberations and inputs from all stakeholders in addressing challenges and improving outcomes in the sector.
“Let’s ‘jaw jaw’ and find the best solutions to the problems impeding progress in the sector. It is important we work together to stop illegal mining and protect the environment.The current wanton degradation of the environment is a threat to our survival,” he said.
He said the government was counting on the support of the Association towards permanently eradicating illegal mining from the sector.
Interacting with the Minister, Chairman of the Small-scale Miners Association, Kofi Adams,asked the government to engage Anglogold Ashanti on their behalf to give them access to some parts of their restricted lands for small-scale mining.
He said the lands located at Abompe, Juabosoand EsasoNsuekyir, all in the Obuasi Municipality, were supportive of the rock mining, which the small-scale miners are familiar with.
He noted that such a gesture would ensure peace and cooperation between them and the mining firm and lead to the creation of jobs for the teeming youth of the area.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, OBUASI