Illegal Mining Ghana needs GHS20 billion to fix galamsey damage - Amewu

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu said that it will cost between GHS60,000 to GHS70,000 to reclaim a hectare of damaged land.

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Ghana will need an amount of GHS20billion to tackle the effects of illegal small-scale mining on the environment.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu who made this known said that it will cost between GHS60,000 to GHS70,000 to reclaim a hectare of damaged land.

He indicated that at least 1.5 per cent of Ghana's land surface of 228,000 square kilometres has been destroyed through galamsey and that works out as 342,000 hectares.

The government will, therefore, require GHS20.5 billion to ensure that about 342,000 rugby fields are repaired.

"This is something that we can do with the availability of funds," Mr Amewu assured on Accra-based Joy FM on Monday April 24.

Meanwhile, processes to give galamsey operators an alternative livelihood has started. It is expected to cost government $10 million.

The Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) is expected to last for five years.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu said the programme is looking at a “margin of not less than $10 million when it gets to its peak.”

“The process is ongoing. We have already started, we have already awarded contracts, we are talking to the small scale mining association, I am engaging them to start regrouping some of these guys, so it is an ongoing process.”

“What the project is going to do is to get these same factory hands who were previously engaged in this activity to together to come and work in an area that has been already explored. We are going to put in place a central processing plant for them where they will mine, and the ore from the mining will be passed through the processing plant and it will be for a fee,” the minister explained.

He added that government has also awarded contracts to some firms to start these mining exploration activities as part of the MMIP.

READ ALSO: Illegal miners withdrawing from site: Minister

“Some mining companies are willingly relinquishing portions of their concessions to government. These concessions will be made available for small-scale mining. A typical example is Anglogold Ashanti which has allocated almost 60 percent of their concession to government,” he added.

Mr Amewu during his visit to some mining sites in the Western region emphasised that the government was not against small-scale mining, but would rather want illegal miners to work in already explored and demarcated mining sites.

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