The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union has urged government to ensure that the new policy that has been launched to guide small scale mining activities in the country, is followed.
This they say will ensure that Ghana does not return to the days of mass pollution of its water bodies.
The Chairman of the Inter-ministerial committee on illegal mining, Professor Frimpong Boateng at the outdooring of government’s new policy framework on mining activities announced that the ban on all forms of small scale mining will be lifted on Monday, December 17 2018.
The ban has however been lifted for only small scale miners who have successfully gone through the vetting processes for their operations to be properly regulated.
The lifting of the ban follows the successful vetting of 1,350 small scale miners out of which over 900 have now been giving licenses to operate.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the General Secretary of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union, Prince William Ankrah said government needs to ensure strict monitoring and adherence to the laid down rules to ensure success.
“In all, if we operate seriously we can go a long way. It’s about artisanal small scale mining being done well and professionally. If you want to lift the ban on galamsey with all the environmental mess, we’ll only compound our problem”.
“We support regularized artisanal small scale mining being done professionally, making sure they respect the standards, making sure that nobody will get away with any sort of environmental mess,” he added.
He stressed the need to make sure that everybody given license respect and obey the rules.
Mr. Ankrah made the comments on the sidelines of the Union’s National Executive Council meeting held here in Accra.
The last executive council meeting for the year brought together leading executives of the Union as well as mineworkers to take stock of 2018 and plan on the way forward for mineworker across the country.
Commenting on recent developments in the mining industry, Mr. Ankrah highlighted the need for mining companies to treat locals fairly.
He urged mining companies not to exploit the local content law to mistreat Ghanaians.
“Local content is key to the development of our nation. The danger is that the local service providers get shortchanged by the key mining companies to the extent that when they bid for contracts, they get lower pay rates, which impacts the quality of the service they provide and also ultimately impacts what they pay to their workers.”
Touching on cost of production, Mr. Ankrah expressed disquiet about the ballooning cost of operation of some companies due to the deteriorating road networks in some mining communities.
According to the General Secretary of the union, haulage companies in the mining sector are having to contend with bad roads due to the absence of a rail network.
By: Bobbie Osei/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana