National Democratic Congress’ Flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama has guaranteed his government will see to the return of confiscated mining licenses, concessions and excavators to small scale miners should he be voted back into office.

John Mahama speaking at the launch of the NDC’s 2020 Manifesto at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), stated that the move would promote legal and properly regulated and operated medium and small scale mining in the country.

According to him, this will make the venture more attractive and rewarding, and effectively create jobs for the youth.

“We will reissue confiscated legitimate mining licenses to miners. For persons whose mining concessions have been illegitimately seized, we shall return the concessions to the legitimate owners.  We will track down and take back all excavators that are missing and we will return the excavators to their rightful owners.”

The Akufo-Addo led government upon assuming office replaced the lacklustre anti-galamsey taskforce with the Operation Vanguard to stop illegal mining activities in the country which have contributed to the depletion of the country’s vegetative cover and water bodies including the Ankobra and Densu rivers.

The activities of the Operation Vanguard tasked military men to drive out and arrest illegal miners across the country, a move the NDC flagbearer vehemently opposed.

While admitting the adverse effect illegal small-scale mining activities has on the environment former president Mahama said the military intervention is never the way to go.

According to him, the most viable response to Ghana’s galamsey canker is the creation of a small scale mining cooperative which would encourage prospective small scale miners to form identifiable groups in order to streamline and boost their operations.

This, in his view, would properly regularise small-scale mining activities to conform strictly to environmental and safety laws