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Anti-galamsey taskforce to ramp up clamp down operations

Operation Halt II is to ramp up support to the various measures being implemented to clamp down on illegal mining.

The enforcement efforts will be pursued relentlessly without regard to any political, social, or economic standing of the persons involved.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, who disclosed this assured that “This will be done transparently and with the highest standards of integrity, candour and utmost good faith.”

The Minister made the disclosure after chairing a meeting of the Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Illegal Mining to review various strategies and measures to clamp down on illegal small-scale mining.

The meeting observed that despite the recalcitrance of some of the cartels involved in the illegal mining enterprise, lots of strides had been made.

The meeting commended the goodwill of some people who gave information on illegal mining activities to aid the fight against the menace while condemning persons who circulate old videos of such activities on social media to court public disaffection towards the fight against illegal mining.

In a statement issued after the meeting, Mr Jinapor said after extensive review of the operations, the stakeholders agreed that the river bodies and forest reserves should continue to be red zones.

He said no mining operation should be permitted in or around any river body in the country, while reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploration activities continued to be banned in forest reserves, except in exceptional circumstances.

Anti-galamsey taskforce, Ministerial Committee meeting, illegal mining, clamp down, Newscenta, Ghana,

The Minister stated that any equipment used in connection with illegal mining, otherwise known as ‘galamsey,’  or any product derived from illegal mining operations, would be seized and handed over to the police, in accordance with section 99 (8) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), as amended.

According to him, if for any reason a particular equipment cannot be moved from its location, it will be demobilised and/or decommissioned to prevent it from being used for illegal operations.

Mr Jinapor said tasked the Ghana Police Service to work closely with Operation Halt II to gather relevant information to aid in the prosecution of people involved in illegal mining.

He assured that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission will intensify education on the dire consequences of illegal mining on the lives and livelihoods of current and future generations as well as the environment.

He noted that the Committee will meet regularly to review the measures being implemented and adopt additional ones where necessary.

Mr Jinapor therefore, called on the public, particularly the media, chiefs and people of the host communities to assist the government and the security services to fight the menace and safeguard the natural environment for posterity.

The Committee is made up of the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Office of the President in charge of Operations, the two Deputy Ministers at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, a Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Chief Executive Officers of the Minerals Commission and the Forestry Commission, the Advisors on Mines and Forestry to the Minister, the Technical Directors for Mining and Forestry, and representatives from the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service.

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