Business News of 2014-08-17

Mines Chamber confident of end to illegal mining with review of mining act

Ghana Chamber of Mines says it is confident ongoing review of the Minerals and Mining Act will help to effectively deal with illegal mining in the country.

The review, upon completion, will empower the courts to confiscate illegal mining equipments seized by authorities.

The chamber said though an inter-ministerial taskforce charged with eliminating illegal mining activities by Ghanaians and other foreign nationals succeeded in seizing some equipment used by the miners, the state has not been able to hold on to the equipments or confiscate them because the law in its current form does not support that.

CEO of the chamber, Sulemana Koney, at a day’s sensitisation programme for the media said the country will be making a huge mistake if illegal mining was not eradicated.

“I believe that if the law is actually changed, then the courts will be armed with the power to actually confiscate these pieces of equipment,” he said.

Illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey’ continues to be a plaguing problem in the Ashanti and Eastern regions of the country.

These regions are among the mineral-rich areas in the country.

Apart from claiming the lives of many illegal miners when poorly executed mining shafts collapse, ‘galamsey’ also pollutes many of the water bodies and destabilise the ecosystem in the areas where it occurs.

According to A-ROCHA, an environmental non-governmental organisation, activities of illegal mining in Ghana costs the country two per cent of its forest cover annually.

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