The Government through the Ministry of Mines and Energy has banned dredges on all water bodies within the borders of Liberia with immediate effect.
According to the Minister of Mines and Energy, Gesier E. Murray, the Ministry has commenced a rigorous exercise aimed at fixing and formulating the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) sub-sector in the country.
Minister Murray made the statement Monday at a press conference held at the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Monrovia.
According to him, mining of gold and diamond is hereby banned, stressing that the government has developed a roadmap which will require the collective efforts of the local government officials, law enforcement authorities and private citizens.
He indicated that the government has also banned the use of the substance called mercury to recover gold, a decision which will be robustly reinforced and violators severely prosecuted in keeping with law.
Minister Murray stated that government has instituted a moratorium on the issuance of new Class “C” mining licenses.
He asserted that the ministry has also started training in smart mining techniques for local miners around the National Parks and protected areas that will be replicated across Liberia for the purpose of land reclamation.
Murray added that the ministry in collaboration with the National Identification Registry (NIR) has begun issuing biometric ASM Cards to mining actors.
The Mines Minister emphasized that all legitimate miners and citizens of the areas where these activities are prevalent are to report any case of violation so that culprits will be prosecuted.
He cited that the Ministry and the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) are implementing activities under the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP) with support from the World Bank.
Murray pointed out that these activities have led to the formation of seven mining cooperatives in Gbarpolu, Sinoe and Grand Gedeh counties, noting that these cooperatives have benefited from the Smart Mining Techniques (SMT)