APAnews | Cameroon’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Ernest Gbwaboubou has announced the “immediate” halt to the issuing of permits for artisanal mining activities in the country.Gbwaboubou was speaking in the eastern town of Batouri, during a sensitization workshop by municipal magistrates scrutinizing the Mining Code Act.
He said the move was necessitated by a lack of order in the allocation of mining permits, fraudulent declarations, the disorderly installation of operators, continuous degradation of the environment and the illegal migration of workers involved in such activities.
It comes against the backdrop of the authorities’ lack of proper understanding of the nitty-gritties of the industry, fraudulent export of precious stones, and the rise in crime, which is blamed on mine workers.
On May 14, 2014, the department regulating mining activities in the country issued a six-month suspension of the delivery, renewal and other transactions involved in the authorization of artisanal mining throughout Cameroon, he pointed out.
This precautionary measure, coming after 5777 mining permits were issued in Cameroon’s eastern region alone, is intended to rein in problems blighting the industry.
Findings have established that some operators, with research permits, were immediately moved to the operation phase without an abiding respect for environmental standards.