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Small scale miners whose operations were suspended following the rise in illegal mining activities may have to wait a little longer before resuming work. This follows plans by the government to intensify some oversight roles by the Minerals Commission.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, explained plans to intensify the regulatory mandate of the Minerals Commission.
According to him, this will largely dwell on improving upon the operation capacity of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission.
“There is going to be a change in the mining scene; reorganization of the Minerals Commission but that is not working very well,” Prof Boateng stated.
“For example, the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission is very weak that division is supposed to ensure safety at the mining sites but that is not working very well,” he further stated.
Government has placed a six month suspension on small scale mining activities which is expected to end by September 2017.
But Prof. Frimpong Boateng explains to Citi Business News the necessary framework must be completed before resumption of mining activities.
The Minister who also chairs the inter-ministerial committee on mining further outlined the establishment of three mining districts across the country to deregulate the supervision of the mining activities of the small scale miners.
“To strengthen those areas, the government is going set up three new mining districts. Funds have been made available for this exercise. So after this then the inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission will be empowered to make sure they go to the mine site to inspect any form of irregularity so that we do not wait for years for this thing to take us by surprise.” Prof. Frimpong Boateng added.
“At every point we will know what is happening on the mining site,” he claimed.
Already there is the plan to train small scale miners on proper mining methods which will span from July to August 2017. The move is among others expected to sustain the gains recorded in the reduction of the illegal mining activities.