The Ghana Chamber of Mines has disclosed that the money accrued from the sale of minerals obtained from small-scale mining has, over the past three years, seen a steady increase despite the brouhaha going on in the mining sector.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber, Sulemana Konney, on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, stated that in as much as the small scale mining sector is facing many issues due to the upsurge of illegal mining, there are numbers to prove that business is still booming.
“It’s (the sales) been increasing. Our numbers show that export numbers are going up in spite of all that is going on; the ban, moratorium and all that. Exports for small scale mining are actually increasing. Sometimes when you ask, they tell you at the time of the ban they had stocked files so that is why you could see an increase in export numbers. I’m not too sure about that, but the reality is that exports keep increasing,” he confirmed.
However, when asked whether the campaign against illegal mining by the government has been successful or otherwise, he stated that the governments need to step back and revise the strategies for the campaign.
“The results have been mixed. Initially, I thought we were making good progress but in the last few months or so I think we have not been quite clear with what we are saying as the outcome of this whole fight and I think we need to step back and recalibrate. It’s not just about a fight, but what we want to do out of small scale mining because that’s prescribed.”
“The law says that we can have small scale mining and not illegal mining. It’s a big opportunity for us to engage in mining ourselves. Unfortunately, we all know what the outcome is. It’s not what we expect. We need to recalibrate,” he remarked.
Ban on small scale mining
The government in June 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.
This was after Citi Breakfast Show had discussed the issue extensively and launched a campaign against the canker.
The station went on further to petition the presidency to take certain critical measures, which included a ban.
The ban was however extended to end in January 2018 but remained in force until now despite numerous protests by those in the industry.
After nearly 20 months, the ban was lifted on Monday 17th December 2018 for only small scale miners who had successfully gone through the vetting process for their operations to be properly regulated.