The secretary to the inter-ministerial committee on small scale mining, Charles Bissue has revealed that one month after the committee called for the submission of all small scale mining licenses to be submitted for vetting, only 650 out of the total of 1,350 licenses have been submitted.
Describing the lukewarm attitude of those in possession of the licenses and refusing to submit them as unfortunate and frustrating, Mr. Bissue said the miners themselves are the cause of the delay of government not lifting the ban on small scale mining, adding that the committee would conclude its work before the implementation of the roadmap on small scale mining which will pave way for the lifting of the ban.
According to him, the refusal of the miners to submit the licenses for vetting lays credence to suspicions that most mining concessions are ghost concessions.
Mr. Bissue opined that reasons adduced by some of the miners that they cannot travel to Accra to submit the licenses for vetting because they don’t have money for transportation are untenable, adding however that the committee was ready to reimburse anyone who has transportation challenges.
‘’We are here for them. The committee is here for them and anyone who doesn’t have money to travel with the documents should come. We will pay for their transportation. Even if you are in faraway Bolgatanga, you just bring it, we are here waiting for you and we will pay for your transportation’’ he assured on an Accra based radio station and monitored by BestNewsGH.com.
He said the work of the committee is being hampered by the refusal of the miners to submit their licenses and other documents for vetting, explaining that the initial time frame given by the committee for the submission of the documents was one week and that the committee has had to stay for more than one month now and is still not having the cordial and full cooperation of the holders of the licenses.
He reiterated the commitment of the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that operations in the small scale mining sector are streamlined and that only those who have the requisite documentation to work, are actually those working at the various concessions.
Mr. Bissue added that it is not the president’s plan to collapse the small scale mining business, but to ensure the sector’s full potential is maximized for the benefit of the generality of the Ghanaian people.