DEPUTY Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Prestea Huni Valley constituency in the Western Region, Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, has announced that the six-month ban on small-scale mining and galamsey will expire on September 30, 2017.
Speaking to over six hundred (600) community members in Prestea last week Monday, the deputy minister hinted that “the six-month moratorium on small-scale mining” will be over by the end of this month.
She stated that her ministry, together with the parliamentary sub-committee on mining, which her neighbouring MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem is the vice chairman, have been able to craft the modus operandi which will guide mining in the small scale sector as the moratorium comes to an end.
“Together with my Minister, Mr. John Peter Amewu, we came with the Minerals Commission to Aboso Rock Mining site, and have ordered Minerals Commission to do assessment of their work, so that, if we are satisfied, we give them support to continue their work as the ban ends,” she stated.
“For those mining on the land, under the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), we are going to group them into co-operative groups, and give each group a mining engineer to support them in their work.”
The deputy minister also disclosed that some of the small scale miners have already received training under the MMIP project at University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, and more training programmes have been earmarked to take place soon.
She further elaborated that under the MMIP, “we will also do reclamation of areas destroyed, so that we can use such lands to support the Planting For Food and Jobs,” programme.
“Plans are far-advanced to establish more offices for the Minerals Commission, and Prestea will have one of such offices to facilitate the supervision process” we envisage.
She, however, warned those who were still in the water bodies to stop since her ministry will never “permit mining gold in any river or water bodies.
Story: Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu