The Association of Small Scale miners is questioning basis for Land and Natural Resouce Minister, John Peter Amewu’s threat to revoke licenses issued to members in the last quarter of last year.
The Association fears the statement by the Minister, who was interacting with journalists after a tour of some mining sites in the Wassa Amenfi area of the Western region is a subtle notice of plans to collapse their business.
According to Mr Amewu, about 68 to 70 per cent of licenses to small scale miners across the country were issued just before the December elections in a rush.
“We cannot accept things in this manner done haphazardly without any due cause to lay down procedures. I can say with all authority that the best way it should be is to give an extention”
His comment is after a decision to extend the six month moratorium on mining by locals is fuelling agitation.
Spokesperson of the Association of Small Scale Miners, Mike Gizo, told XYZ News he doubts the figure quoted by the Minister but said they will seek clarification on the matter during a meeting with him tomorrow.
“It is quite alarming to us as an association. The minerals commission and the ministry has to explain the processes that went right or wrong with regards to that huge percentage been questioned now. There should be a consensus, with regards to the EPA processes before any conclusion will be drawn.”
“Some of us started in 2014 and we got our licence in 2016 October last year. We are not quite sure of the directives, if I’m included in that bracket then there is a problem. It is obvious that our source of livelihood and investment is on the fence. We need a conclusion that seeks the way forward.”
It would be recalled that government in April 2017 placed a six-month moratorium on illegal and small-scale mining in the country to halt the massive destruction of the environment and pollution of river bodies.