The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is seeking to amend the existing mining law governing natural resource in the country.
Parliament and has gone through first reading.
Once passed, the law will criminalize activities of illegal small scale mining leading to arrest and prosecution.
It will also allow the confiscation of equipment and a penalty payment of about GHS 60,000.
This is part of measures being put in place to end or reduce to the barest minimum, people engaged in legal small scale mining in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr Toni Aubynn who disclosed this to Citi Business News said the move will bring sanity in Ghana’s small scale mining sector.
“If you are found to be engaging in illegal mining and its proven in court, you are going to pay penalty units not less than 5000 penalty units and that is equivalent to GHS 60,000 or in default you may go to prison between 3 and 5 years or both,’’ he said.
Due to the recent development in the mining industry, government introduced the New Minerals and Mining Act 703, 2006.
The Act seeks to revise the old mining law to conform to the recent trends and development in the industry.
One of the key changes made to the act was the introduction of a fixed royalty rate of 5% which overrides the earlier rate of a range of 3-6%.
However, the industry continues to face key challenges with the ever increasing galamsey operations (artisan mining) on company concessions which poses headaches for the affected mining companies.
Dr Toni Auybnn was optimistic that once Parliament approves the amendment, “even the district courts can handle the cases of illegal mining and if you a foreigner, the punishment is about 17,000 penalty units.’’