The Chief Executive of the Mineral Commission has dismissed claims of delay in issuing licenses for small-scale mining.
Speaking in an interview on Joy News’ Newsfile on Saturday, Martin Kwaku Ayisi noted that the “small-scale mining licensing system has been improved significantly.”
According to him, applications for licences are online and are accepted on any given day, stressing it is easy to apply for a license.
He said as at the time the former Environment Minister Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng filed a report on galamsey in 2021, the licensing applications were paper-based.
According to him, in that era, miners had to go and locate their district offices, look for officers and do paperwork which takes about a week. However, it is no longer the case.
Except for Ghana, he claims that the improved system that allows miners to apply for licenses on weekends is not in place in Africa.
“Samson, I am not boasting but you can apply for a small-scale licensing in the very minute you are speaking. I don’t know whether Akuba is aware. You can apply for a small-scale licence Monday to Sunday – 24 hours…,” he clarified.
His comments come after an Assistant Lecturer at the Mining Engineering Department of the University of Mines and Technology, (UMaT), on the same show attributed the rampant illegal mining activities to the overwhelming hurdles that are faced when securing lands.
Akuba Bezaba Yalley said the procedures involved in securing lands are unnecessarily hectic and daunting, with some people being denied applications.
This, she says discourages even people who want to do right by the laws.
“I have gathered that in fact, the way and manner in which people actually want to do the small-scale mining are actually frustrating.
“So at the end of the day, the system itself is kind of promoting illegal mining. Someone who wants to acquire a license has to go through a whole lot of frustration. A license is supposed to be issued in about four months, the person would have to wait for about three or four years.
“Applications, even if they’re to be denied, they are to bring out some reason why those applications are to be denied or even delayed – they do not get feedback. So at the end of the day, it looks like even those who want to do things right are kind of discouraged,” she said.
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