By Godwill Arthur Mensah, GNA
Accra, July 27, GNA – Professor Daniel Mireku-Gyimah, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, says illegal miners who are still mining in spite of the ban lacked social conscience.
He said the massive destruction of the environment and concerns expressed by Ghanaians should prick their conscience to do the right thing.
Prof. Mireku-Gyimah, therefore, urged the Government to take bold steps to arrest recalcitrant illegal miners.
He said government had given them enough time to stop the illegal practice, therefore, the law should be enforced to the letter.
Prof. Mireku-Gyimah said this in an interview with the media on the sidelines of a training programme for media practitioners and small-scale miners on sustainable mining at UMaT in Tarkwa.
He described illegal miners as « wicked individuals who lacked social conscience, » and urged the Government to adopt stringent approaches to deal with them as their unlawful activities were negatively affecting society.
Prof. Mireku-Gyimah suggested that illegal miners should be constituted into co-operatives while the Minerals Commission monitored their operations regularly.
He said they should be made to reclaim the mined areas as well as ensure they performed their corporate social responsibility to their immediate communities.
« There would be bloodbath if the local communities should arise against the illegal miners considering the massive destruction of the water bodies and farmlands, » he said.
The unbridled exploitation of the environment had left large tracts of mined areas unrecovered coupled with the pollution of water bodies.
There are about one million people involved in the chain of mining and other services in the country, including foreigners.
The Minerals and Mining Act, Act 703 of 2006, and the Amended Act 900 of 2015, forbid foreigners to engage in small-scale mining.
27 July 17