The Ministry of Natural Resources yesterday said it has taken note of reports in circulation to the effect that there is the dispossessing and withholding of mining lands for small miners in favour of mining syndicates.
The ministry did not identify the source of the reports.
“The Ministry strives to ensure equal access to mining lands, and in fact, has instituted a deliberate policy of righting the imbalance where small miners did not have sufficient access to lands.
A recent demonstration of this was the distribution of mining lands via lottery held just Friday last. This exercise will continue across the individual mining districts over a period of three months to ensure pre-qualified citizens are guaranteed a minimum of one mining block each.
“It is the belief and policy of the Ministry that the nation’s patrimony belongs to all of its citizens and should be accessed equally by all. Hence any defamatory allegations imputing otherwise should be ignored”, the ministry said in a statement.