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Small Scale Miners Association decry delays in issuing permits

Godwin Armah,
Godwin Armah,
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The Small Scale Miners Association (SSMA) have bemoaned delays in the issuance of permits by some government agencies to enable their members resume operations.

The miners say although the ban on their operations have been lifted, some state agencies have not yet completed activities that will enable them commence operations.

Citing the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry as an example, the association said collaboration between the ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency to complete some documentations for its members have delayed.

In an interview with Citi Business News, Secretary of the Small-Scale Miners Association, Godwin Armah said the delays are affecting their operations.

He maintained that “Small scale miners who have gone through the vetting process and have their stickers are being denied to work on the ground because there are some conflicting reports by some members of the inter-ministerial committee”.

He recounted several instances where members of the association have gone through difficulties to get their permit renewed but to no avail.

“We are saying the state institutions should also start doing their work because they have their legal backing from the constitution,” he stressed.

He added “now the ban has been lifted, why are they not issuing the licenses? The EPA is also supposed to ensure that is done. They have asked us to wait but until when?” he questioned”.

Background

Small Scale mining activities were banned two years ago following the severe damage to lands and water bodies in the country.

The ban was lifted last year[2018] with a comprehensive roadmap aimed at ending illegal mining activities permanently in the country.

After lifting the ban, Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu proposed that the government compensate small-scale miners who were affected by the blanket ban on their activities.

But the argument was shot down by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh.

He insisted miners who were affected by the ban on small-scale mining are not entitled to any form of compensation from government.

Prior to the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining, the inter-ministerial taskforce on illegal mining vetted the miners.

The move was to ensure small-scale mining activities in the country are done in a responsible and sustainable manner.

By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana


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