In an effort to eliminate illegal small-scale mining, the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has directed that all mining reconnaissance and prospecting activities in the forest reserves be suspended until further notice.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources noted that many individuals and companies engage in illegal mining in forest reserves under the pretext of reconnaissance or prospecting. In line with this ban, the Minerals Commission has also been instructed to cease the processing, provision, and renewal of reconnaissance and prospecting license for forest reserves.
The directive was made pursuant to Section 4 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), which states that the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources may reserve land from mining. The move has been lauded as a good step against deforestation and its negative impact on the environment. Whiles the ban is temporary, mining industry players can expect heightened regulatory measures as the Government prioritizes the fight against illegal mining.
Editors' Note: The issue of illegal small-scale mining in Ghana has been a bottleneck for the political authorities leading to large-scale destruction of virgin forests and farming lands in Ghana. This has led to significant reduction of Ghana's forest cover and expose farmlands to huge soil and water stress. The Government need to be more proactive in addressing this issue before it results in significant food insecurity.
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