Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu has given a 30-day ultimatum for all mining equipment and excavators to be moved away from mining sites.

This directive follows the dismissal of nine mining inspectors across the country for their negligence in the fight against illegal mining.

The nine officers, who were in charge of monitoring mining activities in each of the nine mining zones in the country, have been sanctioned for allowing illegal miners to park their excavators close to the mining pits.

Government in March issued a three-week ultimatum to illegal miners to cease their activities.

The deadline expired last Wednesday 19 April with the seizure of over 500 excavators but the Minister’s tour of some sites in the Western Region this weekend revealed that some equipment were still on site, prompting his action.

He told the media: “To all the mining officers working at the Minerals Commission, they are all proceeding on leave immediately. Nine district mining officers in this country are proceeding on leave. They have stopped the activity of galamsey, of course, which is good, but these mining excavators are still parked close to the pits and we are saying that the intention for them is to return. …I’m giving them another 30 days to move those excavators from these various places back to wherever they brought them from.”