The approach adopted by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, towards the fight against illicit mining (galamsey) in Ghana is wrong because it is killing licensed small-scale mining, Patrick Agyei Dankwa, Chief Executive Officer of Agyei Dankwa Investments, has said.
Mr Dankwa, also a small-scale miner, has had his excavators and other equipment burnt as a result of the fight against the galamsey. This situation he said was worrying because he had obtained the requisite licence to engage in small-scale mining.
According to him, the minister should decouple legalised small-scale mining from unlicensed ones if the government really intends to win the war against galamsey.
His comments follow the directive given by Mr Amewu that all small-scale mining activities should cease due to the devastation those activities are having on water bodies and the environment. This directive, according to the minister, forms an integral part of efforts in fighting against galamsey in the country.
It is recalled that Mr Amewu revealed about 400 earthmoving equipment had been evacuated from the mining sites following the order.
But speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday May 17, Mr Dankwa said: “The minister’s actions against small-scale mining are wrong. He has lumped both legal and illegal small-scale mining together in the fight against the galamsey and that is a wrong approach to this whole matter.
“Go to the Minerals Commission and you will notice that I duly obtained my licence. I complied with all the rules and regulations including that of the EPA and so I never destroyed the environment and the rivers, and so why will the minister stop me from doing my work in the name of fighting against galamsey.
“If he doesn’t know the job, please teach him. He should go and read the Act very well. Due to his directive, most small-scale mining companies have lost millions of cedis.
“I have had my excavators burnt by some unscrupulous people. This is unacceptable because we are not living in a banana republic. I am appealing to the Inspector General of Police and the Minister for the Interior to intervene otherwise, some of will advise ourselves if need be.”