From Samuel Mensah Torbizo, Manso –Nkwanta
The Head of the Inspectorate Division of the Mineral Commission in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Samuel Damoah, has given a strong signal to Small Scale Miners(SSM), to desist from re-allocating their concessions to foreigners.
He observed that the practice does not only create opportunity for the foreigners to involve in Small Scale mining, but equally promotes illegal mining as well.
Mr. Damoah, spoke to The Herald in an interview, after he opened a day’s workshop for the Small Scale Miners in the Amansie West District on pit reclamation at Manso –Nkanta.
The workshop became necessary due to the incessant destruction of farm lands and water bodies, as a result of bad methods used in extracting minerals.
Mr. Damoah revealed to the paper that about a fortnight ago, 12 Chinese were arrested for mining illegally in the deep forest of Adurakro in the Amansie West District, who was hiding behind their Ghanaian counterparts at large to carry out their illegal activities.
He explained that 6 single bar and 2 pump actions guns and 2 locally made pistols, were retrieved from the Chinese, who have been handed over to the authorities of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).
Mr Damoah asked the Small Scale Miners to obtain the required permits from the authorized bodies in order for the commission to identify their sites and monitor them regularly.
Earlier in his overview on the effects of the wanton destruction of the vegetation in search for gold, he expressed grieve concerns about the danger of unapproved means of mining posed to the future of the society.
Mr. Damoah called on minor miners to adhere strictly to international convections regarding Small Scale Mining, in order to minimize the destruction of the environment.
He said, in adherence to this regulation, government attached seriousness to flush out illegal miners, especially the foreigners who had taken over that activity, which is solely reserved for indigenous people.
He assured the people that the commission would continue to provide funds in reclaiming abandoned gaped mine pits.
According to him, the reclaiming exercise was important, as it would protect against occurrence of disaster
“Small Scale Miner must follow approved procedures in order to protect the ecosystem for the unborn generation,’’ he said.
In his presentation on acquiring mineral rights ,a senior inspector of mines ,Mr. John Amoanyi said, the Minerals and Mining Act 703 of 2006 frowned on unlawful ,illicit ,illegitimate and unauthorized mining operation.
“ Mining areas are designated from time to time by the holders of mining lease with the approval of the Commission,’’ he noted .
Mr. Amoanyi said, in order to eliminate illegal mining to enhance sustainable , safe, judicious and friendly environmental mining and winning culture ,the process of acquiring permits to mine had been made simple.
He justified government’s decision to flush out foreigners who had taken into small scale mining, stressing that the activity is solely reserved for the local people