The deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio has said that Ghana needs an estimated twenty five (25) million dollars to reclaim lands lost to illegal mining (galamsey) in the country.
The deputy minister whose ministry have been praised for doing a lot to eliminate illegal mining in the country said the amount would have to be given to several companies so they can successfully reclaim the lands.
Speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ on Wednesday, the deputy minister said the amount of dangerous chemicals that have been used in mining have raised the cost of the reclamation.
“In some of the galamsey areas, the mercury level is beyond two percent (2%)…we need at least two hundred and fifty (250) million dollars to reclaim the lands destroyed by galamsey…,” he said.
The amount, he said would be used to reclaim the lands in all the eight regions where the illegal activities have taken place.
The country has upped its fight against illegal mining since the assumption of power of the Akufo-Addo administration with the Minister of Lands and Forestry, John Peter Amewu getting the support of the media and the Ghanaian public.
Benito Owusu Bio insisted that the ministry is fighting the illegal activity not because the government is against mining in entirety but rather stopping the illegal means used in mining and regulating it to ensure that the right process is used.
“NPP government is not interested in stopping mining as a whole but rather we are interested in ensuring that the right thing is done. We just want to ensure that the laid down laws and processes concerning mining is followed…,” he said.
As part of the efforts to streamline mining, the deputy minister said the government would recruit more mining inspectors who will go round and ensure that proper mining is done and harmful chemicals not used to exploit minerals.