Flush out illegal miners – Chamber of Mines
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines Mr Sulemanu Koney, says inaction on the part of authorities to stop illegal mining activities on companies’ bonafide concessions has led to the escalation of the situation.
Illegal miners have in the last few months invaded the concessions of Owere Mines, AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine and Perseus Mines in Ayanfuri, in the Western Region.
Speaking at a news conference, Mr Koney, blamed the increased invasion on government’s inability to crack the whip, which had led to the escalation of activities of the illegal miners.
“We believe that the inaction at Obuasi has indirectly contributed to the invasion of the Owere Mines and nobody knows which company will be next,” he said.
Mr Koney said, the Chamber is calling on government to as a matter of urgency to flush out the illegal miners from the mining concessions in order to restore investor confidence and attract the necessary investment into the sector.
He said, the illegality is depriving duly licensed companies the opportunity to exploit the mineral resources safely and prudentially.
The CEO said the menace is also leading to additional costs to the companies for rehabilitating the land, fixing plants and equipment as well as restoring the environment.
“Pits excavated by illegal miners claim the lives of company employees as well as residents of host communities,” he said, adding that “the resultant destruction to the environment is immeasurable”.
Mr Koney said the recent increase in illegal mining activities and violence against licensed mining companies had caused insecurity and fear among investors in the mining sector.
“It is regrettable that the beacon of mining in Africa will suffer this fate at a time of a downturn in the industry; a period within which host countries globally are encouraging investment in exploration and development of mines in anticipation of an upturn,” he said.