President Akufo-Addo has assured the general public that he will soon lift the ban on small-scale mining.

He said this will happen immediately the government finalises a comprehensive roadmap to deal with illegal mining.

According to the President, the comprehensive roadmap will involve the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined-out areas; the restoration of impacted water bodies; and strict supervision of the processes of awarding mining licenses and associated permits.

Additionally, the roadmap will incorporate the establishment of a mercury pollution abatement project; the implementation of alternative livelihood projects; systematic control of the engagement of excavators and change fans in mining areas; and continued formalisation and regulation of the small-scale mining sector.

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“When the ban is lifted, you will have a responsibility, as was successfully discharged in the days of our forefathers, to continue to help preserve our lands, water bodies, and environment.”

“We all have a duty to say no to galamsey for our own common survival and the survival of those who are to come. If we allow it, we are jeopardising both our present and our future. This cannot be over-emphasised,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo said this when he delivered the keynote address at the sensitisation workshop for traditional and religious leaders on the elimination of illegal mining in Ghana, held at the Accra International Conference Centre on Monday (June 18, 2018).

When Nana Addo was sworn into office, one of the first issues he had to handle was the illegal mining menace popularly referred to as galamsey.

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Cabinet then set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, with the world-renowned scientist, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, as the chair.

The Committee, at the commencement of its work, recommended an initial 6-month ban on small-scale mining activities, a request which was assented to by the President. The ban has, since then, been extended.

The committee put in measures to stop galamsey. Some of these measures were the ban on illegal mining, the launching of Operation Vanguard; the training of small-scale miners in sustainable mining methods at the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa; and regular interactions between the Inter-Ministerial Committee and the Small-Scale Miners Association to craft a Code of Practice for small-scale mining operations.

President Akufo-Addo also acknowledged the help of the traditional and religious leaders in the fight against galamsey.