The deputy minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines, Mr George Mireku Duker, has held consultative dialogues with the stakeholders in the Shama District on ways to tackle illegal clay mining.
The stakeholder engagement saw Mr Duker hold talks with traditional rulers, the DCE for Shama, small-scale miners and other key institutions in the district.
Throughout the meetings, Mr Duker was consistent with the government’s goal of combating illegal clay mining and regulating the industry to ensure that the harmful effects on the environment and communities are curbed.
He also used the opportunity to solicit views from some institutions and persons in the district on how government can turn around the dwindling fortunes of the clay mining industry.
Interacting with the DCE of Shama, Ebenezer Dadzie, Mr Duker wondered how the district assembly can help the government rid the sector of the numerous challenges and promote investor confidence in safe clay practices.
He urged the DCE and the assembly to take immediate steps to license all companies in the clay mining business who are operating without authorisation.
“Information available to me indicates all the companies mining clay are not licensed. It is very unfortunate to hear this. I have said that I’m for mining so I’m against banning it but mining should be responsible. Responsible mining is one that is regulated", he said.
“Mining clay has been ongoing for decades and I’m sure this is the first time the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has come down to this level to engage on improving the industry. I’m here to solicit your views on how we can mine without harming our society", he added.
For his part, the DCE noted: “We need to change because the current situation will not help us. The deputy minister is here to help us find ways of streamlining the processes so that we can all enjoy the full benefit of mining. It is my hope that we’ll all be committed to this cause."