ACCRA: THE Chairman of the Ghana Association of Small Scale Miners, Amissah-Arthur, has called for a review of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (ACT 703) to empower miners and enhance the industry’s contribution to economic growth.
He said the legislation in its current state was not a true reflection of the mining industry. In an exclusive interview with CAJ News at his in Prestea residence, Amissah-Arthur suggested that government consider the legalization and decentralization of license for small scale mining.
Meanwhile, he said, according to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, compensation to land owners may include entitlement to and any claim from the holder of the mineral right compensation for the disturbance of the rights of the owner or occupier, in accordance with some sections.
Before 2006, there was no such law giving such entailment to land owners but mostly crop compensation was paid. It was later that the law made room for land compensation which normally is paid to the chief or custodian of the land.
Often times, this brings conflicts and other disputes because even the 25-acre land that the government allocates, there is no data for prospecting and therefore mining is done by try and error when there’s a shed off, Amissah-Arthur said.
“Paying land compensation therefore, is ruining small scale mining across the country and therefore making it difficult to understand galamsey work in Ghana,” he said.
Some miners may obtain license through the minerals commission while others obtain power to mine through the chiefs.
“This is the clear conflict of what’s going on the ground in mining communities such as Prestea. Similarly, the processes in obtaining a license is too cumbersome in that, before the Minister is satisfied of the application put before him and signs, the land may have been exhausted since the process takes about 2-3 years or even more,” said Amissah-Arthur.
He said his association was therefore calling on government to make the processes flexible.
“The process must be decentralize to enable even the CEO of the Minerals commission can be the final signatory.”
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY