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Ghana to deal with illegal mining, logging

(Xinhua)

15:26, December 01, 2011

ACCRA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Ghana is making a strategy to deal with illegal mining and logging which poses a grave environmental, health and security risk to the country, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Mike Allen Hammah said here on Wednesday.

Speaking at a workshop to develop a framework for artisanal and small-scale mining in Ghana, Hammah said it is the government policy to develop the industry to become as efficient as its large- scale counterpart.

The policy is to ensure that the industry becomes truly indigenous and self-reliant, with most of its needs serviced by local companies, he said.

It is in line with this policy that the government, with support from development partners, is implementing the Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (NREG) program with one major objective of reducing, if not eliminating completely, the practice of illegal mining.

Under the program, several areas are being geologically explored to find suitable grounds for small-scale miners.

Hammah told the seminar that improving the small-scale mining sub-sector requires the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.

He urged all of them to put in more efforts to come out with a workable strategy to improve small-scale mining and reduce illegal mining in Ghana.

Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission Ben Aryee promised that his commission would persist with government policy to restore sanity in the operation of the small-scale mining program.

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