Small-scale miners in the Ashanti Region have petitioned Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutut II over the order given to them to stop their business as a way of dealing with illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) in the country.
Spokesperson for the Small-Scale Miners Association in the Ashanti Region, Francis Osei, speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Wednesday, 26 April, said members of the associated had duly registered and obtained their licences from the Minerals Commission to mine, however, the government has lumped both the legal and illegal miners together in its quest to fight against galamsey.
He said: “Our major issue is that the government has lumped together both the illegal small-scale miners and those of us doing legal mining. This is disturbing because we are licensed to do the work. We obtained the license from the Minerals Commission, made the necessary payment for the necessary documentations to work but all of a sudden we are asked to stop work.”
“The actual people destroying the land are the illegal ones and so we have petitioned the Asantehene to intervene and press on the government to allow the legal ones to go ahead with the mining and rather deal with the illegal ones.”
Meanwhile, the Government of Ghana has praised galamseyers in the country for complying with its order to remove all excavators from mining sites in the country, as it battles the destruction of the environment following the activities of such miners.
The miners removed their excavators from the mining sites following an ultimatum given to them by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu.
So far, close to 550 earth-moving equipment have been voluntarily withdrawn from various illegal small-scale mining sites across the country.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday April 26, said: “All those engaged in the illegal mining activities have heeded the three-week ultimatum given by the Minister. So far, all the sites that we have visited across the country are not experiencing any mining activities, nobody is mining in those areas anymore.”
“They have packed their excavators, and, so, we commend them for obeying the directive. We didn’t go after them with any task force; they have complied with the instruction, and, so, we commend them for doing that.”