Minister Commissions Excavator Tracking Centre

Minister Commissions Excavator Tracking Centre



Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has commissioned a network centre at the Minerals Commission to monitor and track earthmoving and mining equipment, including excavators, and vehicles used in the transportation of explosives. The centre, built by the Minerals Commission in partnership


with the George Paa Grant University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), provides real time information on the movement and activities of excavators and explosive vehicles. Commissioning the centre yesterday, the minister said the establishment of the centre was part of measures adopted by government to deal with the illegal





mining menace. He noted that excavators were one of the main machineries used in illegal mining, with its attendant consequences on lands, forests and water bodies. In 2020, government promulgated the Minerals and Mining (Minerals Operation – Tracking of Earthmoving and Mining Equipment) Regulations, 2020



(L.I. 2404), to provide for the registration and tracking of earthmoving and mining equipment used in mineral operations. To give effect to this law, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, on the October 24, 2022 directed all owners and operators of excavators to register them with the various Metropolitan, Municipal



and District Assemblies where these excavators are located. The Minerals Commission explained that excavators would be installed with trackers, and would be assigned to specific concessions. According to the Commission, the system has been designed to ensure that any excavator that moves outside its concession



area will automatically go off. It said a pilot exercise has been done with excavators in Tarkwa and Obuasi, and excavators that go outside their concessions cannot work again unless unlocked by the Minerals Commission. In addition to excavators used for mining, vehicles used in the transportation of the explosives will



also be installed with trackers for the Minerals Commission to monitor their movement, including their speed, and the activities of drivers. This follows a recommendation by the Committee on Health and Safety which was established by the minister after the Appiatse incident, where a vehicle carrying explosives exploded



and destroyed the community. The committee, as part of its recommendations, recommended that vehicles carrying explosives be tracked to also monitor their movements and activities. The minister commended the Minerals Commission for its hard work in getting the centre established. He, however, charged commission to expedite action on the registration and installation of



tracking devices to ensure effective monitoring. Mr. Jinapor said government was committed to the fight against illegal mining through law enforcement and reformation. He said that while law enforcement was important, reformative measures have proven to be the best means of dealing with illegalities in the extractive sector. He also called on all stakeholders to partner with government to clamp down on illegal mining.