The fight against illegal mining is about getting more intensive and rigorous as the government teams up with the Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Air Force (Western Command) to repair some specialized Aircraft which will undertake an Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognizance (ISR) Survey of illegal mining areas.
The three Aircraft, according to the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines, Hon. George Mireku has been out of service since 2014, but repair works estimated to cost 700,000 Euros are set to commence on them to get them back into service to help fight the illegal mining Menace.
Addressing the press after an inspection of the Aircraft at the Takoradi Air force Base on Friday, January 20, 2023, Hon. George Mireku Duker explained that the committee will submit a report to both the Sector Minister and the Chamber of Mines.
He elucidated that the works on the Aircraft which is expected to last six months will be funded by the Ghana Chamber of Mines.
He also highlighted three important elements of the aircraft which informed government’s decision to take the cost-effective route of undertaking repairing works instead of purchasing new equipment which will serve the same purpose.
“This is an effort we are making to clampdown on recalcitrant who are still determined to destroy our industry. We want to streamline and regulate activities in the mining sector,” he said.
“We believe that it is cost-effective compared to procuring drones and other equipment. Though drones may have their efficiencies, this could be in the air for hours without being noticed and collect evidence that can be used in a court of law,” he added.
The servicing works on the Aircraft will see the replacement of crashes, hard drives, outdated software programs, and engines among others.
Hon Mireku Duker commended the Chamber of Mines for their immeasurable and patriotic effort in the fight against illegal mining.
He also praised the Ghana Armed Forces for the support they are providing as far as the ‘galamsey’ fight is concerned.