Ghana to review mining laws
News on Ghana, via the African Mining Network and writer Yolanda Torrisi, Chairperson of the Network and commentator on African mining issues:
Ghana’s Association of Small Scale Miners is calling for a review of the Minerals and Mining Act to give miners more ability to contribute to economic growth. Its chair, Amissah-Arthur, says legislation in its current state does not reflect the mining industry.
The government is being called on to consider legalising and decentralising licences for small scale miners.
Amissah-Arthur says compensation to land owners could include any claim from the holder of the mineral right compensation to land owners for the disturbance of the rights of the owner or occupier.
Prior to 2006 this did not exist as only crop compensation was paid. Later laws were introduced that land compensation would be paid to the chief or the custodian of the land.
Unfortunately this has allowed conflicts and other disputes to arise because there is no data for prospecting on the 25 acre land that the government allocates and therefore mining is undertaken by trial and error.
According to Amissah-Arthur, paying land compensation is ruining small scale mining across the country. Some miners obtain licences through minerals commissions and others obtain power to mine through the chiefs.
In recent media reports Amissah-Arthur was quoted saying: “This is the clear conflict of what’s going on in mining communities such as Prestea. Similarly, the processes in obtaining a licence are too cumbersome in that, before the Minister is satisfied of the application put before him and signs it, the land may have been exhausted since the process takes about two or three years or even more,” said Amissah-Arthur.
The association is lobbying the government to make the processes flexible.