The government has warned the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners that any attempt to breach the six-month freeze on all forms of small-scale mining will be considered as a violation of the laws of the country.
If they do return to mining sites, the security forces would be awaiting them, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu warned.Some small-scale miners, in the period of government’s escalation of the war on galamsey, have complained they are being unfairly targeted.
Ahead of the Minister’s visit to some illegal mining sites and some forest reserves in the Ashanti region, the Ashanti Regional Chapter of the Association of Small-Scale Miners said it will demonstrate against the government over the ban on small-scale mining. The demonstration is dubbed: “All die be die”.
But speaking to journalists on the matter ahead of his three-day tour of the region, Mr. Amewu said if the miners returned to their sites, it would be at their own risk.
“I keep on saying that there is going to be a deployment of the law enforcement agencies; the Police the Army and the Airforce for a sustainable period – not less than one year, and that is going to come shortly. So if anybody dares to return to the site and it results in equipment being confiscated, that will be very unfortunate. That is why I have taken my time and explained issues to them and given timelines so they cease operations.”
Mr. Amewu added that “I gave another period of 30 days, which is coming to an end, to make sure they evacuate their equipment from the sites. All those timelines are to makes sure there are no excuses when people’s equipment is seized.”
The minister did not downplay the concerns of the miners, noting that he was going to dialogue with them on the best course of action to take on the matter.
“For the association, I am going to engage them. I am in Kumasi and I am going to be in the Ashanti Region for the coming three days and I will have time to engage them so that together, we will build a Ghana that is acceptable and a Ghana that everybody will want to mine in,” he said.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/Kojo Agyeman/citifmonline.com/Ghana