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02.05.2008 General News

WACAM Commends Government For Plans To Amend Mining Law

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The Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), yesterday commended government's intention to amend the country's mining law, saying that the stance is in the supreme interest of the nation.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra, Mr Daniel
Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of WACAM, said the position taken by the government was 'bold, cogent and objective' and that it exonerated earlier outcry by people in mining areas of the effects of prospecting in their various communities.

An Accra Daily reported that Mrs Esther Obeng Dapaah, Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines, said during a panel discussions at the recent 12th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that, the government was considering the amendments to the country's mining law with the view to reaping greater benefits from the sector.

According to the Minister, the country's mining laws were too liberal for the purposes of attracting more investors, adding that, the government would amend it to correct all the inadequacies.

Mr Owusu-Koranteng said mining operations 'has destroyed the livelihood of the communities and that had had environmental social impact.' He alleged that some mining companies have displaced about 30,000 land lords on whose lands mining was carried out, and about 50,000 people have lost their livelihoods through displacement.

According to the Ghana Trades Union Congress, the mining companies employed one per cent of the productive force of Ghana, Mr Owusu-Koranteng said.

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