Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and now the Founder of the Salt and Light Ministry, Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, has challenged the Minerals Commission to improve on its sensitisation drive on the processes for the acquisition of mining licenses.
According to her, most mining firms are currently operating without the legal license a situation she described as worrying and a major factor contributing to the devastating effects of illegal mining on the country’s water bodies.
The government has mapped up ways and strategies to combat the illegal activity especially galamsey with the deployment of a taskforce called Operation Halt II on river bodies across the country.
Speaking in an interview with Class Business’ Pious Kojo Backah, Rev. Dr. Aryee said the Minerals Commission has a greater role to play by educating the public on the right acquisition of mining licenses to mine.
She said: “I’ll recommend that the minerals commission should communicate more to the public about how mining licenses are received or applied for and the type of licenses available.
“The minerals commission will tell you that there is prospecting license. Prospecting license comes from the word prospect, it means you’re going to find out whether the mineral is there. It is a very simple way of doing things and it doesn’t require bulldozers, it doesn’t require big machines and then you have an exploration license.
“An exploration license would be based on what you’ve found out after your prospecting which means now you want to find out more so that if you find out there is enough with value for mining then the actual mining license is given.”
“Maybe minerals commission should educate the public more so the public will appreciate the fact that to do it illegally is to breach every kind of law. Some people take a prospecting license and then go and mine but that is not how it is. Even if you have an exploration license you don’t mine,” she added.