Gov’t Vets Miners

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), a presidential committee on environment and natural resources, is due to begin the vetting of registered artisanal and small-scale miners today.

According to a statement signed by Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue, a presidential staffer and secretary to the committee, the vetting is in line with President Akufo-Addo’s quest to sanitize and regularize artisanal and small-scale mining operations in the country.

The statement read: “In view of this, all registered artisanal and small-scale miners, whose licences were operational as at 1st April, 2017, are to submit copies of the following documents/details to the IMCIM Secretariat either in person or by post on or before 7th September, 2018.”

The documents, according to the statement, include “mining licence, environmental permit, operating permit, certificate of registration, tax identification number, two copies of passport size photos, birth certificate, passport or voters ID, current contact details (telephone and/or email address).”

The vetting of licences of all 1,315 artisanal and small–scale miners will take place at the committee’s Secretariat, which is located behind Christ the King Church at Cantonments, Accra.

He added that after the vetting, the Minerals Commission will take over for further and necessary cross-checks.

He also touched on the movement of all heavy-duty equipment from site to a designated area under the supervision of the various regional ministers.

It would be recalled that the committee chaired by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, recently launched the roadmap to lift the ban on illegal small-scale mining.

Activities of illegal small-scale mining necessitated the formation of the committee by President Akufo-Addo.

The formation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining in March, 2017 led to arrest of ‘galamsey’ operators and placing of a moratorium on small-scale mining.

By Melvin Tarlue