General News of 2014-05-14

Gov't to own confiscated assets of illegal miners – Alhaji Fuseini

Cabinet subcommittee on illegal mining is currently engaged in formulating ideas towards amending existing laws on illegal small scale mining activities to make the practice more punitive.

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini told Joy News the law would be tightened to dissuade persons engaged in illegal mining.

“We are considering an amendment to legislation that would make illegal small scale miners quite punitive that would also ensure that equipment that are used by illegal small scale miners are confiscated to the state

“And people, who engage in illegal mining activity pay penalties that clearly will dissuade them and discourage them from engaging in illegal mining activities in this country," the minister asserted.

The Minister was responding to the re-emergence of Chinese illegal small scale miners just a year after they were driven out by a special taskforce inaugurated by President Mahama to stop illegal mining activities across the country.

But Lands and Natural Resources Minister assured that, government will launch fresh attacks to flush out repatriated illegal foreign miners, who are back to some 'galamsey' mining sites.

Alhaji Fuseini said the crackdown on illegal mining will also involve the Ghana Immigration Service, chiefs and civil society organizations.

He, however, noted that the taskforce has achieved “ a modicum of success” in their activities since it started operations, stressing that Ghanaians now know that mining cannot be undertaken without a valid license.

He, therefore, acknowledged that the fight against illegal miners is a continuous one, noting, “people have propensity to commit illegality, perpetual vigilance is the watchword.”

Source: myjoyonline
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