The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has rubbished claims by Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, that it spent GHS10 million on conferences and dialogues in the fight against galamsey.

Speaking at the last sitting of Parliament on Tuesday, the MP, amid his allegations, questioned how effective these dialogues and conferences have been in the fight.

However, a statement released by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry says the allegation is false and has no factual basis.

The statement explained the expenses are not limited to conferences and dialogues, but other policies and programmes like the establishment of a Monitoring and Evaluation Team, together with a Situation Room, to receive reports of illegal mining and act swiftly on them.

The expenditure also includes the introduction of the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP) and the introduction of the Small Scale Miners Award Scheme to encourage responsible mining.

Others include revamping the Community Mining Schemes, the establishment of Small Scale Mining Committees in the various mining districts across the country, the resourcing of the Minerals Commission, and the introduction of the mercury-free gold katcha to process gold.

On the dialogues, the statement said the holding of the National Dialogue on Small Scale Mining was pursuant to the call by President Nana Akufo-Addo on a common non-partisan approach to fight the menace.

The Ministry added that although the plan was that dialogues be held in all 16 regions, it decided, as a way of prudently managing the public purse, to group the regions and hold zonal dialogues.

One of these was held in Kumasi for the forest zone and another in Tamale for the savannah zone.

In addition to these dialogues, the statement said the Ministry undertook a working tour to all the regions and engaged stakeholders to support the fight against galamsey.

Among the stakeholders engaged include the Council of State; the National House of Chiefs; the Regional Houses of Chiefs of all sixteen regions; Regional Ministers, Regional Security Councils (REGSECs) of the sixteen regions; the Ghana Chamber of Mines; the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM); Civil Society Organisations in the mining sector; and miners in the field.

“All of these engagements were fully funded by the Ministry, and in addition provided some funding to the REGSECs to assist in the fight against galamsey in the regions,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry said it expects the relevant state agencies responsible for auditing the accounts of the Ministry to do their work at the appropriate time.