The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, has accused the Ghana Chamber of Mines of not fighting for the best interest of small-scale miners.
This follows the Chamber’s caution to stakeholders including small-scale miners against stampeding government into lifting the ban on small-scale mining.
According to Godwin Armah, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, the government has not been engaging enough in lifting the ban on small-scale mining.
“We are seeing clearly from the statement he made, that the chamber is against indigenous mining, because for close to a year, if you are saying still we should not put pressure on government for government to put all the process in place before we start mining, does it mean that all those who are operating on the large scale under the chamber are doing the right thing,” he quizzed.
The General Secretary is anxious about why the Chamber does not want to put in measures that will allow them to start work, whiles the government continues with the process of sanitizing the mining sector.
The Association said this situation is unfortunate, considering the role of small-scale miners within the sector.
The small-scale miners want government to review its stance on the ban on small-scale mining.
“Once we put the system in place and structure in place, let us start working, let the small-scale miners start their operation, and then we make sure the right things are done, and we enforce the law so that the small-scale miners will mine in a sustainable manner,” he said.
The government announced an extension of the ban on all forms of small-scale mining in the country by three months in 2017, bringing the new deadline to January 2018.
The government earlier in 2017 imposed a six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining and its related activities, which adversely affected the environment, particularly water bodies and forest reserves.