The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource has outlined eight reviewed steps in the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey”.
The steps and strategies in fighting against illegal mining in forest reserves and river bodies were reviewed on August 16, 2022 during a meeting of the Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Illegal Mining.
The meeting was chaired by the sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor.
The eight strategies birthed during the meeting are:
- River Bodies and Forest Reserves continue to be Red Zones. Accordingly, no mining operation is permitted in or around any River Body in the country, and reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploration activities continue to be banned in Forest Reserves, except in exceptional circumstances.
- Operation Halt II will ramp up its support to the various measures being implemented to clamp down on illegal mining.
- The enforcement efforts will be pursued relentlessly without regard to any political, social or economic standing of the persons involved. This will be done transparently and with the highest standards of integrity, candour and utmost good faith.
- Any equipment used in connection with illegal mining, or any product derived from illegal mining operations, will be seized and handed over to the Police, in accordance with section 99(8) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), 35 amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995).
- Where for any reason, a particular equipment cannot be moved from its location, the equipment will be demobilised and/or decommissioned to prevent it from being further used for the illegal operations.
- The Ghana Police Service will work closely with Operation Halt II to gather relevant information to aid in the prosecution of people involved in illegal mining and the confiscation and forfeiture of seized equipment to the State, in accordance with section 99(9) of Act 703, as amended.
- The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission shall intensify education on the dire consequences of illegal mining on the lives and livelihoods of current and future generations as well as the environment that supports our existence.
- The Committee will meet regularly to review the measures being implemented and adopt additional ones where necessary.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini