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Asante youth group accuses gov’t of bias in mining ban

The Asante Youth Association has accused government of showing bias in the enforcement of the ban on Small Scale Mining activities in the country.

According to AYA, it is reliably informed that while Government has halted the activities in the whole of Ashanti, some mining companies in other regions were briskly mining.

The group in a statement said “That is cold pragmatism, hugely unfair and dishonest as we know governments imbibe the fundamental principles of fair treatment and honest dealings”.

Small-scale mining operations are going on in the Western, Eastern, Central, Brong-Ahafo, Upper-East, Upper-West Regions. Companies such as C&J Alaska, Dollar Power, Nawara Moss, Kibi Goldfields, Extra Gold et al are mining with reckless abandon in a seeming disregard to the nationwide ban. So we ask, is the ban placed on small-scale mining or galamsey? If the latter is the answer, why are companies with licences in the other regions with mineral deposits except Asante (Ashanti) mining in the light of the ban?”

The group indicated that, miners in the Ashanti Region also have requisite documentation and licenses, and should be allowed to carry out their activities as their counterparts in other parts of the country.

The group further indicated that the ban has adversely affected the buoyancy and the drive of their local economy, since Artisans in their garages, market women and farmers are bearing the brunt of the ban.

The group has given government a two-week ultimatum to come out with a road-map on lifting the ban, and offer a comprehensive solution to the menace of illegal mining.

Small scale mining ban extended again

The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry on March 9, 2018, extended the ban placed on all forms of small-scale mining for the third time.

Following the widespread devastation of water resources and forest reserves as a result of the activities of illegal mining, government, in January 2017 placed a ban on small scale mining for a period of six months.

The ban was however extended in October 2017, for another three months, which ended in January 2018.

But speaking at an awards ceremony by the Bureau of Research, Governance, Commerce and Administration, the Lands and Natual Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, explained that his outfit had to extend the ban again after small scale miners failed to meet the target set for them to have it reviewed.

By: Hafiz Tijani/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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