The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners has warned that a further extension of the ban on all forms of small-scale mining in the country will be harmful to the sector.
It is therefore urging the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to lift the ban on small-scale mining and rather ensure strict enforcement of the country’s mining laws.
There is currently a ban on small-scale mining in the country following the widespread devastation of the water resources and forest reserves due to the activities of illegal miners.
A six-month ban, which was imposed by the ministry earlier in 2017, elapsed in October 2017, but was extended to January 2018.
President Akufo-Addo indicated at a media encounter on Wednesday that a decision on the way forward would be taken after a meeting with a team of experts next week.
He, however, added that, a lot more needs to be done in the crusade against illegal mining. But the miners believe the President’s stance is an indication that the ban might be extended for the second time.
The General Secretary of the Small Scale Miners Association, Godwin Armah in a Citi News interview said the ban must be lifted to avert the likely challenges the sector will face.
The small-scale miners have held the view that the government’s anti-galamsey fight it targetted at them, although large-scale miners must also be subjected to strict government supervision.
In September 2017, some small-scale miners in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, staged a demonstration over the government’s decision to extend the mining ban.
Despite some police arrests and firing of tear gas at the protestors, the organizers described the demonstration us successful.