Home » Small-Scale Miners in Ghana Protest Against Government’s Delay in Issuing Licences

Small-Scale Miners in Ghana Protest Against Government’s Delay in Issuing Licences

The miners accuse the minister of being unfair and inconsistent with his vision to legalise and regulate small-scale mining in the country.

by Motoni Olodun

A group of small-scale miners in the Ashanti region of Ghana has threatened to demonstrate against the Minister of Lands and Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, for allegedly delaying the approval of their license applications. The miners claim that the minister has received over 100 applications from them but has not signed them for several months, leaving them uncertain and frustrated.

The miners, who are members of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM), say that they have followed all the legal procedures and requirements to obtain their licenses, but the minister has not given them any feedback or reason for the delay. They say they are losing their capital, which they borrowed from banks, and cannot legally operate their businesses.

The miners accuse the minister of being unfair and inconsistent with his vision to legalize and regulate small-scale mining in the country. They say that the minister has been selective in issuing licenses to some miners while ignoring others. They also allege that the minister has been harassing and intimidating them with security forces, who have been raiding their sites and confiscating their equipment.

The miners have given the government a one-week ultimatum to address their concerns or face a massive demonstration on the streets of the Ashanti region. They have called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to intervene and ensure that the minister respects the rule of law and treats them with dignity.

The minister has not responded to the allegations or the threat of demonstration by the miners. However, he has previously stated that his ministry is committed to ensuring that small-scale mining is done responsibly and sustainably without compromising the environment and human health. He has also said that his ministry is working on a new policy framework to streamline and formalize small-scale mining in Ghana.

Small-scale mining is a major source of livelihood for many people in Ghana, especially in rural areas. According to the Minerals Commission, about 1.5 million small-scale miners in Ghana produce about 30% of the country’s gold output. However, small-scale mining is associated with many environmental and social problems, such as illegal mining, land degradation, water pollution, child labor, and conflicts.

The government has been trying to address these challenges by implementing various reforms and initiatives, such as banning illegal mining, lifting a moratorium on small-scale mining licenses, launching a community mining scheme, and providing support and training to small-scale miners. The government has also expressed interest in partnering with other stakeholders, such as traditional authorities, civil society organizations, development partners, and the media, to promote responsible and inclusive small-scale mining in Ghana.

The miners hope that their demonstration will draw attention to their plight and compel the government to expedite the process of issuing licenses to them. They also hope that their demonstration will serve as a platform for dialogue and collaboration with the government and other actors in the mining sector. They say they are ready to comply with the laws and regulations governing small-scale mining in Ghana if allowed to operate legally and profitably.

Source: GhanaWeb

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