The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners is calling on government to immediately lift the ban on their activities to save its members from further financial crisis.
According to executives of the Association, their members have incurred $551 million over the ban period and the cost could worsen the finances of members if the ban continues.
Addressing a news conference in Kumasi, General Secretary of the Association Godwin Armah said the ban is an infringement on their rights considering the legal backing which they have to mine.
“The ban on small-scale mining has curtailed the legal rights of our members who held legal titles to mine their concessions because our members went through the legal prescribed procedure to obtain their licenses to mine,” he told journalists on Wednesday.
The Association also says it is of the view that the ban on only small-scale mining is unfair and questioned why that has had to be so.
“The ban is discriminatory to our members. Licensed small-scale miners and large-scale miners like Newmont, Perseus and others are all regulated under the same mining law in Ghana but the ban only affects small scale miners, why?” he quizzed.
The aggrieved miners further questioned the plausibility of eradicating illegal mining through a protracted ban on small-scale mining.
“We find it extremely difficult to logically understand that a long ban on licensed small-scale mining will lead to an end of illegal mining in the country.”
They made a clarion call to government to “lift the ban on small scale mining now” while cautioning on the ramifications of an unemployed youth.
“An unemployed youth is a security threat.”
The ban was imposed on galamsey in 2017.