The government has installed tracking devices on 68 excavators in Tarkwa, Prestea, Obuasi, Bibiani, and Bolgatanga as part of efforts to end illegal mining across the country.
Answering questions on the floor of Parliament, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abdulai Jinapor said the tracked excavators are automatically shut down whenever they move outside their concession area and can only be restarted by officials of the Minerals Commission using an online application.
The government said the Minerals Commission has established a control room to monitor the operations of the excavators and other moving equipment in the piloting phase of the exercise.
“The Ministry and the Minerals Commission have been working to track all earth-moving and tracking equipment in accordance with the law. The approval has been sought from the Public Procurement Authority for the purchase of drones and tracking devices. For this purpose, the Minerals Commission has however already established a control room to monitor the operations of excavators and other earth-moving equipment.”
“Some 68 excavators in Tarkwa, Prestea, Obuasi, Bibiani, and Bolgatanga have all been installed with tracking devices for piloting. Several other logistical support has been provided to the Minerals Commission to enable it effectively monitor mining operations, including vehicles, among others,” he stated.
The tracking devices are part of a broader effort by the government to combat illegal mining, which has caused widespread environmental damage in Ghana.