The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abudalai Jinapor, has stated that the fight against illegal mining will be devoid of any form of partisanship under his watch. Mr. Jinapor said the law enforcement component of galamsey continues to be the mandate of the country’s National Security, as well as the District and Regional Security Councils.
In an interaction with MMDCEs in the Western Region on the first day of his tour of the area, the Minister charged the security councils to boldly enforce laws and new directives regarding illegal small-scale mining.
“I want to assure you that the president’s resolve on this matter is unequivocal and a fact, and he has said it and I want to repeat it that nobody is above the laws of this country. The president and his government are determined that whoever is involved in this illegality will be [dealt with].”
“It doesn’t matter who the person is; he may be an NPP bigwig or an NDC bigwig or a government appointee or [even] myself too, the sector minister, or the deputy ministers that I will be working with. The officials of the ministry and the MMDCEs are going to watch each other and nobody will be above the law.”
The government recently renewed its commitment to fight illegal mining at a National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining, where stakeholders charged the government to take steps to strictly apply the country’s mining laws.
This has led to many actions being taken in that regard. The government ordered persons undertaking prospecting activities in forest reserves across the country to indefinitely suspend such activities. It also directed the Minerals Commission to desist from processing or granting any request for the renewal of prospecting licenses in forest reserves.
“The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources hereby directs persons and/or companies engaged in reconnaissance and/or prospecting in Forest Reserves, with or without legal authorization, to suspend such activities until further notice…The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has further directed the Minerals Commission, with immediate effect, not to accept, process and/or recommend the grant, including the renewal and/or extension, of reconnaissance and prospecting licenses in Forest Reserves,” a statement from the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry said.