An illegal mining site

The Okyehene Osagyefo Amotia Ofori Payin has called for the suspension of mining in the country for a year for a review of the legal regime governing the whole sector.

The king of Akyem Abuakwa wants the decoupling of the Minerals Commission from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the Commission to have the free hand to operate.

The Okyehene said this when the sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor paid a courtesy call on him Thursday, May 27, as part of his two-day tour of the Eastern Region.

Okyenhene calls for suspension of mining in Ghana for a year

According to him, it is important for government to adequately resource the Minerals Commission in order to effectively carry out its mandate even as it takes steps to stamp out illegal mining in the country.

Okyenehene’s backyard Kyebi and its environs have, in the past, been described as the headquarters of ‘galamsey’ as locals and settlers who aggressively dig for gold, usually leave mined out pits uncovered.

This situation that has led to deaths and has also adversely impacted the environment.

The call comes as government’s renewed fight against the illegality has come under harsh criticism by a section of Ghanaians, including the small scale miners who are the hardest hit.

Okyenhene calls for suspension of mining in Ghana for a year

President Akufo-Addo has, however, challenged aggrieved owners of excavators that have been burnt in the latest fight against illegal mining to go to court and seek redress if they disagree with the administration’s approach.

The Okyenhene also touched on remuneration for mine workers. He noted that the disparity between the Ghanaian mine worker and others in other jurisdictions is too wide and must be looked at.

On his part, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel  Abu Jinapor said all the issues and concerns raised by the Okyehene will be tabled for further deliberations.