As part of efforts to clamp down on illegal mining activities in the country, the government has placed a moratorium on licences for small-scale mining.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu said the move is also to help ensure sanity in the environment.
“I have not signed a single small-scale mining licence since I assumed office. This is an attempt to sanitise the system.
“Some of the small-scale miners who are originally mandated within the regulatory framework and with a concession to mine in a sustainable way are also not doing that,” Mr Amewu told Accra-based Joy FM.
The illegal mining (galamsey) menace continues to serve as a threat to water bodies, aquatic life, and agriculture in the country.
However, several efforts by previous governments including setting up an inter-ministerial taskforce in the previous administration seem to have proved futile.
The famous Pra and Tano rivers are among the most polluted water bodies in the mineral-rich Western Region.
Farming activities at many communities in the Ashanti Region, which are also endowed with precious minerals, have also been curtailed due to galamsey.
Mr John Peter Amewu recently gave a three-week ultimatum to all illegal miners to stop their activities or be prepared to face the full rigours of the law.