Dr. Frank Boateng, the Acting Head of Management Studies at UMAT, has suggested to government to deploy the use of modern technology to monitor small-scale mining activities at the various sites.
Proposing strategies to help curb the menace on illegal mining during an IMANI webinar, he explained that, these will ensure the small-scale miners do not go contrary to the right activities they are to undertake whiles mining.
“Another way is the deployment of modern technology to monitor mining activities. We could train people within the Minerals Commission to use drones to monitor activities of these small-scale operators and make sure they have been doing what they have been asked to do.”Dr. Boateng
Dr. Boateng also suggested the investment in geological investigations to help disseminate the right information to these artisanal miners. This, he averred, will also make information accessible to people who want to engage in small-scale mining activities.
“There must be investments in geological investigations. It is clear that we haven’t invested enough in the geological investigation. So, we can disseminate information to the minerals commission so it will be accessible.
“I think it’s about time that government puts in more money to make sure that we have captured more geographical information that could be used for our mining licensing activities.”Dr. Boateng
He revealed that the sector must have proper geological information since it is something the sector lacks. He also urged the decentralization of the minerals commission activities; so people could have access to geological information even from the district level.
Dr. Boateng noted that this will enable people get into areas where government has invested in . Also where government indicated that “the location has mineralization and we are going to earmark it for small scale mineralization.”
There should be Minerals Commission Presence
He further suggested the presence of Minerals Commission activities within the mining districts;and the enforcement of the law in dealing with these illegal mining activities.
Touching on some of the challenges contributing to the illegal mining activities,;he said the issue of political interference is one factor.
He posited that, the political parties have some of their members who are also operators of this small-scale mining.
Dr. Boateng disclosed that sometimes they are the major financiers of these parties. This, he said, when it happens it becomes very difficult for a government to stop these activities. He then called for the issue to be dealt with.
“After the dialogue, if the political interference and the political will is not centred;and dealt with, everything we are doing will be a whitewash.”Dr. Boateng
He also indicated that;lack of finance was another challenge the industry faced. He explained that this issue is what mostly leads to the involvement of foreign entities especially the Chinese in mining activities.
Dr. Boateng was also of the view that, the “get rich quick” mentality is what is pushing the youth;into getting involved in the small-scale mining. He then called for the issue to be looked at.
He further expressed hope that the just ended consultative dialogue will bring a closure to illegal mining menace in the country.