The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, says a comprehensive list of all licensed small-scale mining companies nationwide has been handed over to the Military High Command.
This forms part of new measures rolled out by the government as part of Operation Halt II to protect the country’s forest reserves and water bodies from illegal miners.
“We have provided the Military High Command a comprehensive list of all licensed, lawful small-scale mining operations across the country. So even before they moved, we formally lodged it with the Minister of Defence for onward submission to the Military High Command.
“As they [soldiers] are in the field, they have the records of licensed small-scale miners and they are able to tell that this particular operation is not licensed, is not lawful and therefore it’s a ‘galamsey,” he said on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen.
He added that the operation was re-launched about two days ago and is already yielding results.
“The priority is the water bodies, then they move to the forest reserves and in just two days, about 1,000 changfans, 30 excavators destroyed and others decommissioned”.
The Minister noted that the personnel are expected to perform their duties without any interference from chiefs, political figures or even his ministry except their commanders.
Again, he stressed that the personnel will be responsible and accountable to the Minister of Defence, the President and ultimately the Ghanaian people.
“So if things go wrong in the course of operation, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, to a large extent, will not be held accountable; it is the Military High Command which would be held accountable because we have given them all the logistics they need and will continue the fight till whenever necessary,” he detailed.
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