Clement Opoku Gyamfi, DCE for Amansie South

The Amansie South District Assembly says it is resolute in pursuing illegal miners whose operations are wreaking devastation on the environment.

District Chief Executive, Clement Opoku Gyamfi, said even though fighting illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, is challenging, the Assembly will not be discouraged.

“We are doing a lot to curb it,” he said.

“The difficulty is there are legally-acquired small scale miners in the district, and the illegal miners are also operating alongside. So it has always been difficult sieving the legally-acquired concession owners from the illegal mining activities”.

The DCE said the illegal miners are constantly being called out for arrest and prosecution.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a zero there, but we’re doing our best,” he said.

Mr Opoku Gyamfi, speaking on ‘Luv in the Morning’ on Luv FM on Wednesday, said the Assembly ensures foreign nationals do not engage in small-scale mining.

Foreign nationals are barred from operating in Ghana’s small scale mining sector.

But there are concerns about some Chinese miners boldly mining away with huge equipment in some mining communities in the Ashanti region.

Mr Opoku Gyamfi says sanctioning such Chinese lies in the hands of security institutions.

“Recently, we got hold of eight Chinese, but the point is when you arrest them, you don’t have the power to keep them. So you have to hand them over to the appropriate institution, and in this case, the Immigration, so it’s up to them to take it up,” he stated.

Speaking on Luv Fm, the DCE called for support in the Assembly’s reclamation of illegally mined lands as the assembly advocates for establishing community mining schemes in the area to increase opportunities for young people seeking livelihoods from mining.