Professor Frimpong-Boateng, the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), has claimed that the committee, under his leadership, successfully addressed the issue of illegal mining until the involvement of “big companies” sponsored by influential individuals disrupted their progress.
He explained that the IMCIM developed a software called Galamstop, which facilitated the registration and licensing of small-scale miners by integrating the processes of various regulatory agencies such as the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water Resources Commission, and Forestry Commission. This enabled miners to obtain licenses within three months, provided everything went smoothly.
The committee also organized training programs for around 4,000 miners in Tarkwa to promote sustainable mining practices. After vetting and registering their companies, thousands of small-scale miners were licensed and allowed to resume their operations within six to nine months. During this period, they faced no harassment as they adhered to regulations.
However, the committee’s progress inadvertently sparked agitation among influential individuals. The confiscation of illegal miners’ equipment affected some well-connected individuals who were displeased with the committee’s work. This led the former Chairman to realize that illegal mining activities were not limited to small-scale miners but also involved big companies.
The situation escalated to the point where the Chief of Staff ordered Professor Frimpong-Boateng to write a report on the fight against illegal mining and propose a way forward. The report, completed on March 19, 2021, addressed these issues and outlined potential solutions.