After nearly two years, Government has lifted the sanction placed on small-scale mining.
Nevertheless, only small-scale miners who have been correctly vetted and cleared by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal Mining (IMCIM) to mine in a regulated environment, will be allowed to participate in such activities.
According to Peacefmonline.com the government has established on Monday December 17, 2018, as the official date for the lifting of the ban.
This decision comes on the heels of the successful execution of the strategies in the road map after the IMCIM unveiled new mining policies and plans to regularize and restructure the activities of small-scale miners on Friday.
In August this year, the government announced the roadmap for lifting the ban on artisanal and small-scale mining operations which has been in effect since April 1, 2017.
In dealing with illegal mining popularly known as galamsey, the government set up, at the level of the Cabinet, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
The Committee, at the commencement of its work, recommended an initial 6-month ban on small-scale mining activities, a request which was assented to by the President.
The ban has, since then, been extended.
Documents Vetted…Licences Verified
Outlining the roadmap to lifting the ban, Chairman of the IMCIM, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, revealed that contrary to reports that there were nearly 1500 mining companies, only about 931 concession documents were submitted by individuals and groups of companies to the vetting committee.
According to the him, 848 representing 91% of concession documents were vetted and their licenses verified. Of these, 339 were partially endorsed, while 499 are still pending endorsement.
He further revealed that the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Authoity [DVLA] will electronically tag all equipment of small-scale miners.
But warned that any small-scale miner who uses an equipment not officially tagged by the DVLA, will have his or her equipment confiscated.
“Lifting of the ban will allow mining companies with valid company registration certificates, valid permits and licenses from the regulatory authorities, minerals commission, EPA and the water resources commission tax identification numbers from companies who have had their mining equipment licensed and electronically tagged by DVLA, and who’s concessions have been vetted and given a QR codes to go back to work, mining equipment, especially excavators and bulldozers not licensed by DVLA will not be allowed for small scale mining,” the Minister added.
$3m Spent On Drones?
On Thursday, at a meeting with news editors ahead of today’s unveiling of the new mining policy, Chairman of the IMCIM, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, refuted suggestions that drones procured to complement the fight against illegal small-scale mining cost the taxpayer $3million.
Former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu first announced the government’s plan to procure the monitoring devices in March 2017, but received some backlash from the public over the $3 million cost.
But Prof Frimpong-Boateng was categorical in his assertion that they “didn’t use $3million” for the purchase of the drones.
“We did not spend more than $500,000 on all the drones, tablets and technical things. The receipts are there; very transparent,” he added.
The over 200 drones procured by the committee will be use