General News of 2014-05-09

National Security must expose “big men” behind galamsey – MP

Member of Parliament for South Dayi Constituency Simon Edem Asimah has called on National Security to investigate and subsequently expose influential persons he claims are behind illegal small scale mining in the country.

He said these “big men” secure large concessions but later lease them out to small-scale miners, whose activities are wreaking havoc on the country's forest reserve and water bodies.

Mr Asimah made this call after the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation paid a two-day working tour of some mining sites in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region.

The District, popularly referred to as the Galamsey District, has seen vast large degradation as a result of the activities of illegal small-scale mining.

“National Security has to investigate and see who are the big men behind what is happening in the galamsey process, where large concessions are given out,” Mr Asimah, who doubles as Chairman of the Committee, said.

“Those concessioners do not do anything but they go behind and give it to small-scale miners,” he noted.

Last year, President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated an inter-ministerial task force to combat illegal mining in the country.

District Chief Executive of Amansie West District Alex Kwame Bonsu lauded efforts of the presidential task force so far, mentioning that plans are advanced to meet all small-scale miners in the District to sanitize their activities.

“We plan to have the list compiled so that we invite them and have the Minerals Commission in discussion,” Mr Bonsu said.

“They can also come out with some guidelines to make sure that they are also legal and go in for proper documents before they can come and mine.”

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