President Akufo-Addo, in his third State of the Nation Address on Thursday February 21, 2019, in Parliament says the reason he placed a ban on all small-scale mining was due to illegal mining which had toxified water bodies.
He added the motive was to find ways to deal with illegal mining but then the ban has been lifted and those certified small scale miners have been asked to go back to work and not the galamsey operators.
“. . and that is why we placed a ban on all small scale mining so we could find ways to deal with illegal mining or galamsey as it is popularly called. The ban on small scale mining has now been lifted but not on galamsey,” he said.
Addressing the country in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo revealed that some of our water bodies have shown remarkable signs of rejuvenation, especially Ankobra being restored to life.
“ . . the battle against galamsey is nowhere near being won yet and I appeal to all citizens to be part of the battle to keep our lands and water bodies safe,” he entreated.
He reiterated his administration's resoluteness to ensure mining profits the nation and dismiss assertions trumpeted constantly by the opposition.
"As I have said on several occasions, this government cannot be against mining . . . as Almighty God having blessed our lands with so many precious minerals, mining inevitably will be part of our lives. That is why I had the pleasure of reopening the AngloGold Obuasi mines which had remained effectively closed since 2014 in fulfilment of campaign pledge I made to the people of Obuasi on 15th July 2015. I will continue to keep my promises to the Ghanaian people,” Akufo Addo added.
He disclosed that measures are in place by government to revamp AngloGold Ashanti and also to secure the needed investment for this project.
“In order to help AngloGold Ashanti secure the needed investment for this project, government provided the number of fiscal incentives; again through the stability of the project against changes in the legal environment effective in the early years of mines operation," he stated in Parliament.