In the wake of the re-emergence of illegal mining, one critical step the government has announced is the ban on the manufacturing of Changfang machines, deployed purposely by illegal miners on water bodies for mining.
In a communique issued by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources copied to MYND FM, government has with immediate effect, ordered local manufacturers to end the production of the device.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony to outdoor a 40-member Ghana National Small-Scale Miners Association Taskforce in Kumasi on Friday, August 20, 2021, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker said, anyone who flout the order would be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
According to him, government would crackdown on all persons or group engaged in the production of changfang motors to aid illegal mining activities on rivers bodies whiles indicating that the taskforce was to immediately work to curb illegal mining on water bodies including the Ankobra
As a means of buttressing the mandate of the members of the taskforce, Hon Duker said, “Just yesterday, several changfang machines were destroyed by the Military taskforce on river Ankobra.”
Meanwhile, as additional intervention strategies to augment the fight against illegal mining, the Deputy Minister revealed that, the Minerals Commission has made available, five (5) speed boat (multi-purpose vessels) to compliment the efforts of the taskforce aside the formation and inauguration of Regional taskforce to support the current operation on rivers bodies.
While emphasising that government would intensify its initiatives to avert the damages from illegal mining in the small scale mining sector, Hon Duker charged the team to devote themselves to the task ahead devoid of extortion from the public.
With the National Security, Military, Navy and the National small scale miners engaged in a joint operation to tackle mining on the Ankobra, Hon. Mireku Duker was sure of a successful outcome saying “you know the rudiments already. Help us to clean up the small scale mining sector.”
On his part, the Vice President of the Ghana National Small-Scale Miners Association, Sampson Kofi Wiredu commended government for the bold steps so far in curbing and controlling illegal mining, pledging that the taskforce will work to support the government and the country.
Mr Wiredu however, pleaded with the ministry to speed up its support to the taskforce for smooth operations; going forward.
Present at the inaugural ceremony were the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (In Charge of Lands and Forestry), Hon. Benito Owusu Bio, Ag. CEO of Minerals Commission, Mr. Martin Ayisi and the President of the Ghana National Small-Scale Miners Association, Mr. Philip Akufo.