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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Tuesday gave assent to the amended Minerals and Mining Act that seeks to deter and prescribes stiffer punishment for people engaged in illegal mining.

The new law enhances the penalties for illegal mining activities, otherwise known as Galamsey, and explicitly criminalizes any aiding and abetting of illegal mining activities, as well as the use of other equipment for mining in water bodies.

It has also increased the punishment for foreigners who intervene illegally in the mining industry, imposing a minimum sentence of 15 years and maximum of 25 years for illegal mining, with a minimum fine of 150,000 penalty units.

In an interaction with members of the Council of State at the Jubilee House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said the law also took away the discretionary power of judges, whose judgments were not deterrent enough to stop illegal mining.

The meeting with the Council is a quarterly arrangement agreed when the Council met the president earlier in the year, to enable the Council of State hold brief with the President on pertinent issues and the decisions of the body.

The President told the Council that his assenting to the law was “another important step we’ve taken in this fight against galamsey.”

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