Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said it is collaborating with the Minerals Commission to enforce the law that requires small-scale miners to recover mined lands.

According to the Executive Director of EPA, Henry Kokofu, stakeholder engagements are far advanced to ensure that the reclamation bond is activated as soon as possible.

When the bond is implemented, miners would be compelled to cover abandoned pits that are usually left to pose threats to lives in mining communities.

He said in an interview on Newsfile that the aside from the Minerals Commission, other stakeholders like the Forestry Commission, the Water Resources Commission and associations of the miners have been very cooperative in getting the implementation processes completed.

“From our end, we are in tune with the Minerals Commission to activate the implementation of the Reclamation Bond by small-scale mining operators and that we strongly believe is a major and important tool to deal with regulations and formalisation of the sub-sector.

“These things have been going on during stakeholder engagements and the miners’ associations themselves have been very cooperative…[but] we are yet to have the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies on board, particularly the mining districts,” he said.

Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (L.I 1652) mandates the EPA to ensure that prospective small-scale miners post reclamation bonds in the form of cash into an escrow account based on approved reclamation plans before they are issued permits to mine.

However, that regulation has been left on the shelves, giving a field day to small-scale miners to operate without reclaiming lands degraded by their activities.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.