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Ghana lifts small-scale mining ban

ASX-listed gold explorer Soon Mining Ltd. said Dec. 21 that Ghana lifted a 23-month ban on small-scale mining, effective Dec. 17, allowing compliant companies to resume operations with a focus on environmental sustainability.

Soon Mining said it would comply with the regulatory regime at its Kwahu Praso property, part of the Sian/Praso gold project in Ghana, along with its other joint ventures in the country. The company said it plans to ensure its miners have the necessary training and licensing.

In a statement on its website, the Ghanaian government said it would allow small-scale mining to resume for those whose mining concessions have been validated and passed the vetting process. Illegal mining, locally known as galamsey, would continue to be targeted by the government.

Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Ghanaian Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, announced a new policy framework for regularizing and reforming small-scale mining activities at a Dec. 14 event in the national capital Accra.

Frimpong-Boateng, who led a committee on illegal mining in Ghana, claimed the country would need US$29 billion to reclaim affected areas.

As part of the new policy framework, Ghana aims to provide alternative income sources to artisanal miners, confiscate unregistered mining equipment lacking tracking devices, as well as control the use of mining equipment.