Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, yesterday led a delegation to illegal mining sites in the country, as the 21-day ultimatum given to illegal miners operating in the country expires by close of day.
According to John Peter Amewu, the delegation was on site to assess which government interventions is needed to restore the destroyed environment, while using the opportunity to engage other illegal miners on site to leave for peace to prevail.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, some three-week ago issued an ultimatum to illegal miners to halt their activities as government steps up the fight against illegal mining popularly called ‘galamsey’.
John Peter Amewu then warned that, all illegal miners who fail to stop their activities should be prepared to face the full rigor of the law.
Media reports indicate that, about 200 operators of illegal mining also known as galamsey have willingly been evacuated from their mining sites.
But the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, said that “as we take them out from their illegal activities we will migrate them into the five-year Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP). That is the only way to make sure that they don’t return to the illegal way of mining. We have given ourselves some five years for the programme to take-off fully, because we need to procure certain equipment, central processing plant, a lot more money to be invested by the government to do explorations and identify respective areas plus the acquisition of these tracking devices all elements of the MMIP.”
“This cannot be done today but we are going to ensure that we plan to regulate their activities. Place a central processing plant where we use the private partnership programme to get the private sector involved. Then you take your ore to the plant, it is processed for you at a fee and helps us to also track the gold produced in the country,” he added.
Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP)
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources last week announced it was going to put in place an alternative livelihood programme, labeled a five-year Multilateral Mining Integration Project (MMIP)for illegal miners who are expected to be out of work after today, as government clamps down on their activities.
“those people who are taken out of their mining concessions are going to be integrated into what we call the Multilateral Mining Integration Project within a period of about five years to see how we can absorb them into an area where they will work collectively as a group to achieve their objective.”
“It is important that we are not going to allow mining near river bodies or mining in areas that are not acceptable; the degrading of the environment and cutting down of cocoa trees. Those ones, we will not allow it and I insist that it can no longer be accepted.”
The discussion on clamping down on the activities of illegal miners has been taken up a notch higher as the dire consequences of their acts stare the country in the face.
Experts at the Ghana Water Company have warned that the country risks importing water for consumption unless illegal mining activities stop. They say the spate of water pollution in Ghana is approaching alarming levels.