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Lands Minister Holds Meeting With Ministerial Coordinating Committee On Fight Against Illegal Mining

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor has held a crunch meeting with the Ministerial Coordinating Committee on the fight against illegal mining in the country.

The meeting reviewed various steps and strategies that are being implemented to clamp down on illegal mining, particularly in Forest Reserves and River Bodies. has gathered that despite the recalcitrance of some of the cartels involved in this illegal enterprise, lots of strides have been made.

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor hinted that despite the goodwill of some people who give information about illegal mining to aid the fight, there are also those who have taken to circulating old videos to court public disaffection towards the fight against illegal mining.

After an extensive review of the operations so far, it was agreed that River Bodies and Forest Reserves continue to be Red Zones.

Lands Minister noted that no mining operation will be permitted in or around any river body in the country, and reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploration activities continue to be banned in forest reserves, except in exceptional circumstances.

It was also discussed that Operation Halt II will ramp up its 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.

This, according to the Lands Minister, will be done transparently and with the highest standards of integrity, candour and utmost good faith.

It was further agreed that any equipment used in connection with illegal mining, or any product derived from illegal mining operations, will 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 by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995).

Where for any reason, a particular equipment cannot be moved from its location, the equipment will be demobilized and/or decommissioned to prevent it from being further used for the illegal operations.

The Ghana Police Service has been tasked to work closely with Operation Halt II to gather relevant information to aid in the prosecution of people involved in illegal mining and the confiscation and forfeiture of seized equipment to the State, in accordance with section 99(9) of Act 703, as amended.

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission shall intensify education on the dire consequences of illegal mining on the lives and livelihoods of current and future generations as well as the environment that supports our existence.

The Committee is said to meet regularly to review the measures being implemented and adopt additional ones where necessary.

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources says it is calling on the general public, particularly the media, as well as the chiefs and people of the communities where these illegal operations take place, to assist Government and the security services in this fight, and to safeguard our natural environment for posterity.

Below are some pictures:

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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