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05.07.2005 Business & Finance

Lands Ministry to license galamsey operators

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Accra, July 5, GNA - The Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Professor Dominic Fobih on Tuesday said the Ministry had plans to attract galamsey operators to new designated areas by establishing processing centres to help them to improve upon their operations. The Ministry has also decided to assist with their relocation, retooling and eventual licensing to integrate galamsey operators into the formal small-scale mining sector.

Prof Fobih was answering a question in Parliament asked by Mr Anthony Evans Amoah, NPP MP for Mporhor Wassa East as to what effort the Ministry was making to assist galamsey operators to acquire licenses. The Minister said this decision was informed by two main considerations namely; the Ministry's desire to offer security and protection to mining companies investments and thereby protect the image of the country as a save haven for foreign investments. "It is also as a result of persistent complaints from affected mining companies especially AngloGold Ashanti, Goldfields Limited and Golden Star Resources."

Prof. Fobih said there is also the need to nurture and support growth of the indigenous small-scale mining in order to derive significant revenue.

Among the areas identified by the Minister for allocation to galamsey operators, include Japa and Ajumadie in the Western Region and Winneba in the Central Region, Datoko near Bolgatanga, Damongo and Dekrupe.

He said the Minerals Commission Offices at Assin Fosu, Bibiani, Tarkwa and Asakragwa had been requested to educate and assist those who wish to acquire small-scale concessions and licences to operate in the areas mentioned.