Auditor General surcharges EPA more than ¢500K over reclamation activities at small scale mining sites

The Auditor General has recommended an amount of ¢524,300 to be surcharged officials of the Environmental Protection Agency per Section 18(1b) of the Audit service Act, 2000(Act 584) for not ensuring that prospective small scale miners post reclamation bonds in the form of cash into an ‘escrow’ account before permits were issued to them.

The 2020 Auditor General’s report on Regulating Reclamation Activities at Small Scale Mining sites has called on the EPA to take steps to standardise liability estimates for small Scale miners and insist on posting the approved reclamation cost as bonds before issuing prospective small scale miners with Environmental Permit.

The report also faulted the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission for issuing small scale mining companies with operating permits without enforcing the submission of operating plans.

The report further states that neither the EPA and Minerals Commission verified nor certified reclaimed small scale mining sites by the small scale companies.

The Auditor has therefore called on both the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency to modify their reporting format to capture the extent of reclamation on concessions to aid decision making.

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