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Illegal Mining: You can be legally permitted but your operations may constitute an illegality – EPA boss tells Small-scale miners


Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu has cautioned small-scale miners who operate haphazardly.

Dr. Kwabena Kokofu explained that while some small-scale miners may have their license from the Minerals Commission, their operations on site could pose illegalities.

He stressed that small-scale miners who particularly do not consider environmental sensitivity within the enclave in which they undertake their operations, operate illegally.

“The problem here is that you will be confronted with the request where the location is not within 100 or 200metres of the water bodies and then you permit it, the person goes on the ground and decides to move to another location closer to the water where they think they can find the gold. People may be saying oh I am a small-scale miner fully permitted and I am legally working, you can be legally permitted but your operations on the ground may constitute illegality, that is where we are not looking at critically,” he said.

Speaking on Joy News’ Newsfile, Saturday, he noted that some small-scale miners refuse to apply for environmental permits particularly when they know their operations are very close to the water bodies.

 “We do as a matter of duty or principle to look at environmentally sensitive situations within the enclave. There are times they [small-scale miners] have refused to obtain environmental permits due to the proximity of the location to water bodies and the water resource commission has in its own right to also look at it,” he added.


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