Until the financiers of illegal mining (galamsey) are brought to book, galamsey will continue to thrive in this country, the Ghana Chamber of Mines has stated.
According to its Chief Executive Officer, Sulemana Koney, illegal mining can be addressed only by targeting the full chain or the entire mining ecosystem.
In recent times, the illegal mining activities which has reduced to some extent, have bounced back because of alleged involvement of some government operatives and chiefs.
Some politicians have been fingered in the galamsey activities which are destroying water bodies.
On Monday, 3 February 2020, the Regional Vice Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Central region, Ekow Ewusi was arrested for a role he allegedly played in the missing excavators seized in illegal mining.
The Ghana Water Company Limited has warned the nation could be importing water in some years to come if the canker is not halted.
Speaking at a Sustainable Mining Conference organised by Newmont Ghana in South Africa, Mr. Koney said the canker will not stop until illegal mining is formalised.
“When it comes to addressing the challenge of illegal mining, you don’t just target the operatives – those who are actually scratching the surface – but the full chain; to be able to address the issues around the funding, mechanism, what the major barrier is,” he said.
He continued saying: “People generally have a lot of cash looking for investment and opportunities and they believe that, that’s the way to go. To put this in perspective, after the government put the ban on the illegal mining – the small-scale mining, I had a good friend of mine from UK and he said ‘surely before the ban was placed on small scale mining I almost invested in an excavator for galamsey’”.
Mr. Koney, however, said his office supports small scale mining.
Presently, the government has instituted a community mining project.