Small Scale Miners have accused Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu of deliberately setting out to destroy their business with the extension of the ban on all forms of small scale mining in the country by three months.
According to the association, the Minister’s action suggests he has a personal interest in seeing their business suffer as he’s remained intransigent even though they’ve engaged him consistently on how both parties could reach a middle-ground on the issue.
“We have no confidence in Amewu, you don’t destroy jobs, you protect them. He’s getting sidetracked with his approach to streamline the sector. He’s critically failed as a Sector Minister, and is about time President Akufo-Addo should have a rethink about Amewu. Scores of our people have died and a number of them are bedridden suffering from various ailments because we are virtually out of business.
“You can’t just wake up and announce a three month extension without clear-cut plans. What exactly is he going to do with the three month extension? He should tell us. We’ve been jobless for nine months and its unbearable,” Kwesi Bonsera, Chairman of the Amansie West Small Scale Miners Association told sit-in host Kweku Owusu Adjei on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM.
The Lands and Natural resources, John Peter Amewu has said the ban on Small Scale mining is expected to be lifted by January 2018, instead of the October deadline given earlier.
The extension comes not long after some small scale miners in the Ashanti Region, embarked on a demonstration to demand an end to it, saying it was having an impact on their livelihood.
“There is an extension for three months, and the Association has been informed. The people we are dealing with are aware. The ban has been extended. This was supposed to end somewhere in October,” he added.
The government earlier in 2017 imposed a six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining and its related activities, which adversely affected the environment, particularly water bodies and forest reserves.