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Business News Sun, 2 Sep 2007

Minerals commission to allocate land to small scale miners

New Abirem(E/R), Sept. 2, GNA - The Minerals Commission is to allocate 3,262.5 acres of land in the Birem North District for distribution to 130 licensed small-scale gold miners to enhance gold production in the area.

Small scale miners and galamsey operators have therefore been advised to form co-operative and organizations and register with the Minerals Commission for them to acquire the needed licenses to enhance their operations.

The Technical Director in-charge of Mines at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Forestry, Mr. Biaja Yakubu, announced this when the sector Minister, Ms. Esther Obeng-Dapaah met galamsey operators, gold buyers and some chiefs from the district at New Abirem. He said the Commission had decentralized small-scale mining in the country and had opened offices at Akim Oda and Takorase and therefore advised them to go and register to acquire the needed licenses for them to operate legally.

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The technical director of the mines said the government was not against small scale miners and would do everything possible to assist them with the needed tools and equipment to enhance their successful operations.

Mr. Ben Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission said the land was acquired from Resolute Amansie Mining Company limited for distribution to small-scale miners.

He said Newmont Mining Company had acquired a concession at Nyafomang and Noyem area which made their operations there illegal. Ms. Obeng-Dapaah said the government had good polices and programmes for small-scale miners and therefore advised them to abide by the rules and regulations governing their trade to put them in business. She said it is illegal for galamsey operators to invade the legally acquired concession of major mining companies in the country because that could adversely affect the mining indusrty in the country. The galamsey operators and gold buyers in the area said they have invested heavily in their operations at Nyafoman and Noyem and appealed to the Minister and Newmont to allocate part of their concession in that area to enable them to recoup their investment.

Source: GNA
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