The Lands and Natural Resources Minister has said nothing will change about government’s commitment to fight illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’.

Kweku Asumah Kyeremeh said not even the upcoming election will soften the stance in the quest to eliminate illegal miners from the country’s forests and water bodies.

Responding to questions in the Fire River Reserve, he said, “People have gone back to the field to do this (illegal mining) all because they have in mind that it is an election year for that matter we’ll not rush on them a to pounce on them to ask them to stop”.

The Minister told JoyNews he’s not expecting a ‘controlled collapse’ of the fight against illegal mining.

“It only means that they are telling us to beef up our strength on the ground, our strategy on the ground to fight this menace,” he said.

Government, according to the Minister, is working on a strategy that will help bring sanity in the mining sector by eliminating recalcitrant illegal miners who continue to outwit authorities to mine illegaly, endangering the survival of endangered species in the forest and in the water bodies, threatening the country’s gains in achieving sustainable development.

Mr Asumah Kyeremeh also called on the civilian population to consider civilian arrest when they see people engaging in galamsey.

“You don’t need to call the soldiers or the Forestry Commission to come. When you find them doing this, it is an illegal act, as a citizen you are clothed with capacity at law to effect arrest,” the minister said.

The Minister has promised to conduct massive reclamation exercise in the depleted portion of the forest reserve in the coming days.