We’ll support Akufo-Addo’s approach to dealing with ‘galamsey’ – Small Scale Miners

34

The Progressive Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana has pledged to support Government’s adopted approach to solving the menace of unregulated small-scale mining in the country.

This is rather a turn from the stance of small scale miners to oppose government’s efforts in dealing with illegalities within the small-scale mining sector in the country.

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu in April 2017 announced a 6-month moratorium on small-scale mining and ceased further issuance of new licenses to small-scale miners in a bid to deal with the rising menace in the country. He recently disclosed that the ban on small-scale mining will be extended.

Members of the Association following the decision, expressed their sentiments, calling it an insensitive move by government to the plight of small-scale miners across the country.

In a statement released by the association, however, they indicated that though the moratorium has affected them negatively, they recognize that the ultimate outcome will benefit them hence their resolve to cooperate and support government.

“We believe that, the ban on mining on our rivers and forests will go a long way in protecting the cherished heritage and deepen the relationship that existed between the human resources and natural resources framework.

Sanctioning the moratorium on the operations of general small-scale mining activities in Ghana has brought untold hardship on us and most Ghanaians in the areas where the small-scale mining is based, it is practically our hope that, the vision that our President has will go a long way in vindicating the measures that are rolled out to propel the future of the small-scale mining industry”.

“Notwithstanding the pending extension of the ban, we the members of Progressive Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana will;

Comply with the orders of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the government at large to effectively make sure the plans of the government within this time is adhered to for a quick lifting of the ban”.

They lauded the President and the Lands Minister for “the holistic approach taken in the fight against unregulated small-scale mining (galamsey) in the country.”

They also, among others, urged government to speed up measures to address their concerns as they “Comply with the orders of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the government at large to effectively make sure the plans of the government within this time is adhered to for a quick lifting of the ban”.

Read the full statement below:

PRESS RELEASE BY THE PROGRESSIVE SMALL SCALE MINERS ASSOCIATION OF GHANA.

We the members of the Progressive Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana cognisant to the content of the Mining and Minerals Act (703) 2006 as amended and all other regulatory framework guiding the mining and minerals sector of Ghana, wish to first of all congratulate the President of the Republic of Ghana, H. E Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. John Peter Amewu and the people of Ghana as a whole for the holistic approach taken in the fight against unregulated small scale mining (galamsey) in our dear country, Ghana.

We believe that, the ban on mining on our rivers and forests will go a long way in protecting the cherished heritage and deepen the relationship that existed between the human resources and natural resources framework.

Even though sanctioning the moratorium on the operations of general small scale mining activities in Ghana has brought untold hardship on us and most Ghanaians in the areas where the small scale mining are based, it is practically our hope that, the vision that our President has will go a long way in vindicating the measures that is rolled out to propel the future of the small scale mining industry.

On the macroeconomic indicators of our country, tax and royalties inflows from the small scale mining industry have previously not been transparently reported which has usually affected governments in terms of revenue generation.
We also attest to the fact of how some small scale mining activities were undercutting the viability of legal mining, such as encroachment of large scale mining concessions.

This moratorium has generally weaned us off from our core mandated family responsibilities and also a burden of higher bank interest charges on loans we secured for our businesses. We are not perturbed, we believe in our President of the Republic and the sector Minister and hope that very soon, the launched Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) will transparently and technically address the regulatory framework of the future of the small scale mining of our dear country, Ghana.

Resources to regulate the small scale mining sector and also bridge the gap between medium and small scale mining will forestall the harmony and cohesion we have been anticipating in the sector.

We also want to urge the Minister to speed up in bringing up the modus operandi of the measures to address;

a) The fortunes of the investment we have made in the sector;

b) The teaming unemployed youth that are largely lying idle and for that matter increasing robbery rates;

c) The pressure on government in terms of provision of jobs;

d) Technically the challenge of tax evasion in the small scale mining sector.

Notwithstanding the pending extension of the ban, we the members of Progressive Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana will;

a)Comply with the orders of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the government at large to effectively make sure the plans of the government within this time is adhered to for a quick lifting of the ban;

b)Continue to render our technical support through our Consultants and Mining Engineers for a befitting mining regime;

c) Want to assure this government of our total commitment and all support to all directives that will be applied.

However, we want to state it clearly and unequivocally that, Progressive Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana have been around for a while with the membership of not less than Two Thousand (2000) active small scale miners with both skilled and unskilled workforce of over Five Thousand (5000) and want to be recognised as such.

Finally, it is in our interest also to share with you the resolutions that was passed in our last regular meeting held in Accra by the National Executive body that;

a) The Minister should speed up with the modalities for the way forward;

b) The Minister revokes the licenses of those who did not adhere to the moratorium directives as well as those who acquired the licenses without going through the technical laid down procedures of the Minerals Commission and the Ministry at large;

c) The Minister allows the underground miners to immediately start operations as the pilot to steer the future of the small scale operations;

d)The interest on the loans we procured based on the approved concession by the Minerals Commission is really a thorn in our flesh and if not hurriedly addressed will send us all out of business and to jail eventually and therefore has a negative effect on the economy and Ghana as a whole;

e)The Minister implement the details of the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) which we took part in its validation at the University of Mines and Technology.

We once again commend the President of the Republic of Ghana on his commitment to duty and show of maturity in handling and adding value to the course of protecting nature.
Once again, we are proud of our Minister and urge all Ghanaians to rally behind us to regularize the future of the small scale mining to the benefit of the entire nation.

Thank you.

Signed.
Gomashie Wisdom
General Secretary
0501161152/0542026225

0547825699

Source, otecfmghana.com/ Gyamerah Louis

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here