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President Akufo-Addo Gives Assent to the Amended Mining Law to Deter Illegal Mining

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given assent to the amended Minerals and Mining Act that seek to punish people engaged in illegal mining and deter others from engaging in it.

 

The amended Act seeks to enhance the penalties for illegal mining activities in the country, by explicitly criminalising any aiding and abetting of illegal mining activities, as well as, the use of other equipment for mining in water bodies.

 

The law also seeks to curtail the discretion of Judges to pass judgement on culprits but to impose between 15 and 25 (year sentences) and sentenced to a minimum fine of 150,000 penalty units.

 

Addressing members of the Council of State on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, President Akufo-Addo said the government decided to take away the discretion of Judges who passed lenient punishment on culprits.

 

“We have also made an additional law which is significant that has not come to your attention, that is, the amendment of the Minerals and Mining law to provide for maximum punishment for those involved in illegal mining”

 

He said Parliament amended the mining law and “heightened the punishment considerably for those who engage in illegal mining, so-called galamsey.”

 

President Akufo-Addo said, “We have increased the punishment for foreigners who intervene in this industry” adding “we talking about minimum years of 15 and maximum 25 years. We have to take away some of the discretions of the Judges.”

 

President Akufo-Addo said it was unfortunate that that should be so “because all of us should be able to trust the Judges also to do their bit in stamping out crimes and its consequences in our society.” He said a common meeting ground needed to be reached on this matter.

 

“My own belief is that apart from the exaltation, we need to strengthen the institutional arrangement led because many of these things that are happening are a result of delinquency on the part of the State itself,” the President said.

 

The Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 900) and the Minerals Commission Act, 1993 (Act 450) are the main enactments setting out the guidelines for mining in Ghana.

 

The chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe, on his part, commended the President for the hard work done to host the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana. He outlined the activities of the Council which includes, meeting with the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) relating to vigilantism and how they could collaborate to step it down.


Again, he said, the Council also met with the Electoral Commission (EC) on the strategies adopted to conduct free and fair elections, come 2020. The Chairman presented to the President, the second reports of the Council’s work from February 2018 to February 2019.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)

 

Created: 23 August 2019
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