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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Interest groups join forces to uproot illegal mining

There is an insurgence of armed robbery, prostitution and drug abuse in Subriso, a galamsey prone community in the Ahafo Ano North District of Ashanti.
 
Farmlands are being destroyed whilst water bodies and the environment are gravely polluted as a result of illegal gold mining.

A collaborative initiative has been mounted to rid Subriso and other communities in the District of illegal mining operatives.

Interest groups, including the district assembly, Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and traditional authorities are devising strategies to get tough on the galamseyers.

Manfomanhene, Nana Kwame Ntim has decried the reluctance of the illegal miners to submit to regulation to minimize the negative impact of their activities in all aspects of livelihood in the area.

He has vowed to take all the necessary action to uproot illegal miners who have refused to formalize their operations, emphasizing that “the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will not take kindly to any chief who condones illegal mining in his area”.

The illegal gold miners have been disrupting the prospecting activities and operations of Pelangio Ahafo Limited and looted gold worth millions of dollars.

A court recently ordered the police to shut down pits created by ‘galamsey’ operators after the company tool legal action on illegal activities on its concession.

According to District Chief Executive, David Addai Amankwaah the Assembly is ready to support the small scale miners to legally prospect gold.

He stated that the District Security Council has taken steps to minimize the social vices associated with galamsey operations, including boosting the capacity of the district police command and upgrading facilities.

Ashanti Regional Director of the EPA, Isaac Osei noted the country would need to curb illegal mining now to save the future.

“We are moving towards a very dangerous situation”, he observed. “If they are regulated, then the level of destruction will totally be minimized. But the people are very difficult to convince to come and register and that the basis of the problems that we are facing in this country”.

The Mineral Commissions expects all stakeholders to show commitment in curbing illegal mining.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh

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