By Emmanuel Akli .
A taskforce, known as Operation Vanguard, which comprises both the police and military personnel, was subsequently formed to enforce the ban.
The ban was, however, met with strong resistance from members of the Small Scale Miners Association, who accused the government of collapsing their businesses.
According to them, they borrowed money at high interest rates from the banks to mine, and that the ban had brought untold hardships upon them.
They planned several demonstrations, but none materialised, following a promise from the government that the ban would definitely be lifted.
The Chronicle understands that the lifting of the ban has been postponed severally, following the recalcitrant attitude of some of the small scale miners, who had joined forces with some Chinese immigrants to operate in remote parts of the country.
The illegal miners, who were accused of destroying the country’s water bodies, were also at their worst, despite the much-publicised ban on all forms of illegal mining activities in the country.
Whilst enforcing the ban, the government was, at the same time, training some of the illegal miners (about 3,000) on how to do responsible mining.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining was established to supervise the ban and transition to the new legal and well-regulated mining regime.
According to the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the committee has completed its work and received Cabinet approval to roll out the new framework for mining in Ghana.
The government would, therefore, this week (Friday) announce measures adopted and lifting of the ban.
The announcement, the Information Minister told The Chronicle from Takoradi, in the Western Region, will outline the following; How validated and legal responsible miners can mine after the 15th of December; Processes towards dredging and land reclamation in affected areas; Institutional reforms within the mining regulatory agencies; Legal reforms in the mining sector; and Efforts to avert a resurgence of illegal and irresponsible mining
“It is our expectation that stakeholders and the general public will continue to cooperate with authorities even as this new phase is rolled out. Tomorrow, at the National Policy Summit (NPS), the Inter Ministerial Committee on Small Scale Mining will give an update on the work done so far, and the current status, ahead of the announcement. We encourage the media to help us amplify this presentation through your various channels,” he said.