We will return to our concessions- Small Scale Miners declare

    /    Jul 25, 2017   /     Ashanti, NewsBreak  /    Comments are closed  /    378 Views
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Small Scale Miners in the Ashanti region say they will return to their various concessions with immediate effect since they have been licensed to operate.

The Miners have accused Government and the security agencies of unfairly targeting members of the Small Scale Miners Association who use genuine licenses in their operations.

According to members of the Association, government’s quest to fight against illegal mining has rather suppressed legal small scale miners from engaging in their legally gainful employment.

Government has stepped up its fight against illegal mining activities (Galamsey) which has destroyed major farmlands and water bodies in the country.

Members are worried the ban which targeted illegal miners was having a toll on miners who had requisite documentations to carry out their activities.

Members say they find it mind boggling that while the security agencies and the government would not allow legally licensed miners to work, they have also prevented individual members of the Association to cover pits on their sites.

The pits, they indicated have been left uncovered and pose death threats to people in these mining areas.

Members maintained that it was the responsibility of any miner to cover any pit dug while mining.

They indicated that if any person falls in any pit dug by a miner, the said miner could be charged with manslaughter.

They described as very strange that while the security agencies and government officials seek to prevent licensed miners to work, they also do not allow them to cover their pits.

The members cited that on the 13th of July, 2017 the Association wrote to the District Chief Executives copied to the various security agencies to allow individual miners to cover these pits, which they intimated to them that they (the miners) wanted them to supervise the covering of these pits.

The members of the Association say they live in fear of facing serious charges if anything untoward happens to anyone who might fall in any of the pits since all their request have fallen on deaf ears.

Addressing a news conference in Kumasi, Ashanti Regional Secretary of the  Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) Michael Kwadwo Peprah said members with genuine licenses will return to work immediately.

“We therefore wish to bring to the attention of the general public that the members of the Association who have valid licenses for this year would go back to their mining sites to carry out their rightful legal employment. We also want to draw the attention of the security agencies that while we believe that they have the right to carry out their constitutionally mandated jobs they must act at times in a fair and just manner. Members would deposit copies of their licenses to various security closest to the mining sites before they embark on their activities.”

He said members will co–operate with all relevant agencies as they resume to their sites.

“We would also co–operate with the Minerals Commission as well the Environmental Protection Agency before resuming work. All these measures would been put in place by the Association to guide licensed legal miners. This is not to say that members were breaking the law in times past but rather these measures have been put in place to avoid unnecessary confrontation and arrest by the security agencies.”

Mr Kwadwo Peprah has asked Government to publish legally licensed individuals on various platforms.

He also suggested that the Ministry of Mines and Forestry create a website for this particular purpose.

“In this way the government would be preventing illegal mining since it would become clear to everyone whether anyone engaged in mining has the requisite license to do so.”

Spouses of the miners also appealed to Government to consider the plight of their husbands and allow them to return to their concessions.

Source: Hafiz Tijani/Kapital971.com

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