By: Felix Cofie
All earth moving equipment imported into the country for the purposes of mining by both small and large scale mining companies are to be fixed with tracking system.
This is to make for constant monitoring by officials of the Minerals Commission to ensure that mining companies operate within their concessions and know the value of gold mined in a day.
Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi who announced this said a Monitoring control room will become functional in September and any company that flaunts the Regulation will have their earth moving equipment shutdown automatically from the control room in Accra.
Addressing the media in Accra, Mr. Martin Ayisi, said as government’s permanent solution to the fight against illegal mining, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission in collaboration with the various Security agencies will patrol rivers Pra, Ankobrah, Offin, Brim and Black Volta with the recently commissioned speed boats, as way of preventing illegal miners from returning to mine in the waterbodies.
Responding to a video circulating on social media about an alleged illegal mining activity on the Offin River he said the patrol will not only focus on the main waterbodies but also on the tributaries and small streams, stressing that the matter is being investigated and swift and ruthless action will be taken to deal with it and any other such illegal activities.
“Our resolve is resolute and total and we will not for any reason give up this fight” .
He noted that within the last two years, Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Commission, has introduced several measures to deal with illegal mining, popularly referred to as “galamsey”.
He outlined some of these measures mentioning the introduction of Operation Halt II, engagement with relevant stakeholders, revamping of the Community Mining Scheme, geological investigation of designated areas to identify mineralized areas to be allocated to small scale miners, the distribution of one hundred (100) mercury-free equipment to ensure responsible mining and the inauguration of District Mining Committees to monitor and supervise small scale operations.
He asserted that as part of all these enforcement mechanisms, intelligence gathering have also been enhanced on all fronts to ensure that the fight is properly fought and won.
He called on the media and the general public that the fight against illegal mining should be a collective effort of all citizens “Lets all get onboard, get us the information, report what you see and hear and help us to help you.”