Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Benito Owusu Bio has assured Ghanaian miners that no foreigners will be allowed to operate in the small-scale mining industry.
According to the minister who was speaking on Kumasi based Angel FM, government now intends to tighten the regulations concerning foreigners in the small-scale mining industry as their activities have led to the destruction of farmlands and waterbodies.
“We will tighten the procedure for acquisition of mining permits so that we can do away with foreigners from the small-scale industry. It’s illegal for any foreigner to engage him or herself in the activity. We are now going to tighten all these regulations so that, nobody can defile the regulations; No foreigners would be allowed to operate”, he stressed.
The minister also stated that government has instituted a livelihood program in helping them replanting on their farmlands.
“As we speak now, the government has nursed over two million (2,000,000) seedlings of the palm at Dunkwa to be distributed to farmers who were affected by the activities of these miners”, he noted.
This program, according to the minister, will help the farmers regain their plantation and also help them improve their lives.
The deputy minister further added that government would ensure that the activities of foreigners and local miners using excavators in authorized forests would be put to an end.
He said, “We will ensure that nobody would be able to transport excavators to any part of the forest to mine. There will be the need to track these excavators. We shall give mining licenses and permit to excavators to track them”.
Mr. Owusu-Bio explained that the mining permits going to be issued to the excavators will help government prevent miners from mining in unauthorized areas.
Government placed a ban on small-scale mining in January 2017 to curtail the devastation of water resources and forest reserves as a result of galamsey activities. The ban has seen several extensions over the past year and is still in place despite many threats of demonstrations by the Association of Small Scale Miners.
However, President Nana Akufo-Addo, recently announced that government will soon put out a statement setting out a comprehensive roadmap, including the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.