ACCRA, The Ghanaian government will regularise and monitor the activities of small-scale miners to ensure that their activities are carried out in a responsible, environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Secretariat for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) here Thursday, he said this would enable the committee to achieve its long-term objective of combating illegal small-scale mining, protecting the environment, and ensuring that mining in the country conformed to international standards, rules and regulations.

The Secretariat would be the nerve centre of operations against illegal small-scale mining — referred to locally as galamsey — and would serve as a means of executing the President’s agenda to end the degradation of the environment.

‘Operation Vanguard’, which is a flagship exercise by the IMCIM, to curb the degrading activities of galamsey operations, as well as all other interventions, also aims at regulating the artisanal gold mining sector and would be co-ordinated from that office.

President Akufo-Addo said he was “resolute and immutable” in his commitment to banish the spectre of galamsey “for our own common survival, and the survival of those who are to come”. He was emphatic that Ghana would be jeopardising both its present and its future, if illegal small scale-mining went unchecked.

The President said the government was entering a new era in its efforts to formalize the small scale mining sector, so as to achieve sustainable mining with sound environmental practices. He stressed that with the IMCIM in place, there is going to be constant, close and effective monitoring and reporting of anti-galamsey activities, so that the right thing is done all the time”.

“This new phase will demonstrate our resilience and commitment to ensuring that our water bodies, land and forests, with their biodiversity, are not destroyed, he said.

He urged the Small Scale Miners Association, from the national to the community level, to help in self-regulation of activities of their members, and also ensure that no one engages in illegal activities, especially mining in our water bodies.