Review Mining Laws – Nicholas Kweku Armah Tells Minerals Commission

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) constituency Chairman for the Upper Denkyira West Constituency, Mr. Nicholas Kweku Armah has advocated for the review of the Minerals Law (especially that pertaining to mining) to reflect and address changing industry trends and practices.

He said current laws and sanctions prescribed by these laws lacks the desired ‘bite’ needed to nib bad practices going on in the industry in the bud.

Speaking to The New Independent Newspaper in an exclusive interview, Mr. Armah, who is himself an industry player, lamented the level of degradation of the environment. He added that water bodies are polluted and mining pits are left uncovered after mining activities, and Ghana seem to be helpless in addressing these issues.

He added that the current mining law gives a period of 5 years after operation for mining pits to be covered. This he said gives leeway for indiscriminate mining in pits and left without covering, because after all, the law gives 5 years after operation to cover.

He however lauded the operations of the task force set to monitor mining activities, and admitted that the most significant issue confronting the mining sector is the failure to cover used lands.

Another significant problem facing the industry is the length of time it takes to acquire a mining license, he said.

According to him, it takes more than three (3) years to acquire a mining license, and this contributes to the illegal operation going on in the system.

He added that by this phenomenon, the country looses monies which otherwise should have gone to the coffers of the state, because without the licenses revenue agencies find it extremely difficult to locate and regulate their activities.

He said it takes too long for mining documents to pass through the process, even though the local district branches do well to expedite the process from their end.

He also advised that mining license acquisition should be decentralized, as a means of reducing the beaurocracies and bottlenecks.

He explained that, the whole process should be decentralized, empowering the Districts to issue mining licenses, but all of them feeding into a national mining database.

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