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Artisanal Miners commend gov't for measures taken to protect the environment

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Small Scale Miners in the Upper West Region have commended the government for the steps it has taken to protect the environment and to safeguard what they described as “the ecological zone” as well as improve the standards of mining in the country.

The miners indicated that, though government’s moratorium on artisanal and small scale mining which started 2017 has affected them in a way, they support the rationale behind the suspension which is to help ensure proper regulation of the sector.

Mr Abdulai Iddrisu (2nd left) with other senior small scale miners at the news conference in Wa.

The commendation was by the leader of Small Scale Miners in Upper West, Abdulai Iddrisu at a news conference in Wa.

Correspondent Emmnuel Mensah-Abludo reports that apart from parting the shoulders of government, Mr. Iddrisu entreated the Minerals Commission to carry out geological mapping to demarcate blocked out areas for small scale miners in all mining areas in the country pending full implementation of the road map to lift the ban on small scale mining.

“The government has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that its sense of commitment to create sources of livelihood and build the capacity of indigenous business in particular the mining sector which has large number direct and indirect avenues of employment in all operational mining areas,” Mr. Iddrisu emphasized.

The Small Scale Miners also disassociated themselves from the pronouncements of what he termed some faceless illegal miners at Charipong in the Nadowli-Kaleo District who have the effrontery to say they will not cooperate with the government in its fight against illegal mining in Upper West.

Mr Iddrisu tated that: “We the members of Upper West Regional Small Scale Miners Association wish to disassociate ourselves from the pronouncements of these faceless and unknown illegal miners who are out for nothing but to destroy the environment.

It is surprising that they had the effrontery to tell the Minister for chieftaincy, that if even they were sent away from their galamsey sites by soldiers they will run away only for them to return to those sites.”

He observed that the activities of the Small Scale Miners are in keeping with government’s plans to preserve the environment and will want to stay within the confines of the law and operate as such.

The leader of Small Scale Miners in Upper West told the news conference that his group has a cordial relationship with Azumah Resources Ghana Limited, which is doing gold exploration in Upper West and do not want people to drive a wedge between them.

He reiterated that “we the small scale miners in the Upper West Region would want to state on records that we do not belong to that faceless group and have nothing in common to do with them since they are faceless and will not tolerate any attempts seeking to destroy our good working relations with the Azumah Resources Company”.

Mr. Iddrisu stressed that small-scale miners are law abiding citizens and affirmed the group’s support for government in its efforts to protect the environment for the present and future generations.

Story by Emmnuel Mensah-Abludo

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