Over $30billion worth of illegally mined gold is smuggled from Ghana every year, according to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng.
According to him, Ghana has over the years lost billions of dollars through illegal gold mining as foreigners engaged in the value chain smuggle the commodity to their Countries at the expense of Ghana.
“The sad thing is that we lose about $30billion a year from illegal mining activities that is what the foreigners take away. Small country in the Middle East alone got $7 billion, and we Ghanaians we say that we retained only $2billion, we cannot go on like that, and you see, the things that are happening to us especially the Chinese, they look at us as to where to invest and how to invest and I know, they will not invest in any factory, they will not invest in any Industrial park “.
“Why should we lose billions of dollars and go round and borrow $200 million, $10million for our country, I think it is a shame,” Prof. Frimpong-Boateng added.
The Minister made the comments on Monday during the inauguration of Municipal and District Committees against illegal Mining for nine (9) Districts namely East Akim, West Akim, Denkyembour, Atiwa, Fanteakwa, Birim North, Birim Central, Akyemansa and Kwaebibirim.
The inaugural ceremony was jointly held at Kibi in the East Akim municipality of the Eastern Region with a seed capital of Ghc10, 000 to each committee to commence work.
The committees headed by Municipal and District Chief Executives are expected to lead the fight against illegal mining, vet and scrutinize documents of all registered small Scale Miners in their districts out of which recommendations will be made to the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Small Scale mining for final determination on whether to lift the ban or allow a particular small scale mining company to mine.
Currently there are about 1,350 small Scale Miners registered by government.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, however, warned members of the taskforce to desist from any activity or actions that would undermine the motive for the exercise.
The Eastern regional minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour expressed worry over defiant stance of some illegal miners in the region despite the ban. He charged the committees to help fish them out to face the law.
Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Barbra Oteng Gyasi said the Ministry is going to decentralise the mining regulatory bodies in all 25 mining districts in Ghana.