Chinese engage in illegal mining and destroying the environment

By GNA
By GNA

6/18/2012 8:01:09 PM -

Obuasi, June 18, GNA - A number of Chinese illegal miners (galamsey) have besieged portions of Anglogold Ashanti (AGA) concession near Adomanu in the Adansi North District and are doing brisk mining.

The Chinese, using big machines, are operating in more than four groups along the Kowia River not caring about the encroachment on AGA concession and the devastating effect on the environment.

When a team of newsmen from Obuasi and Kumasi visited the operational sites last Friday to ascertain the damages being caused to the company and the environment, the Chinese were busy dredging for gold.

With assistance from one of the Ghanaian workers, the team learnt that the only Chinese who could communicate in English was not around to speak to the press.

Llast month about 39 Chinese galamseyers were arrested in a police operations but surprisingly, they had been set free to resume the illegal operations.

The visiting newsmen were marveled about the dangers being caused to the environment and the country's economy since nobody was tracking the Chinese operations to determine what they have to pay as tax and other revenues to the state.

Many unanswered questions were raised as to who offered the area to the Chinese to mine, how are their activities being monitored, the serious environmental implications of their operations on the communities and the benefits the nation is deriving from their operations.

The newsmen realized that the extent of damages caused to River Kowia, the manner the land had been excavated, the level of air pollution as a result of the application of mercury and other dangerous substances were a bother to the present and future generations of the surrounding communities.

The encroachment on the AGA concession is another issue of huge economic importance, looking at the contributions of the gold sector to the economy.

One of the newsmen said he could not understand why the company should allow foreigners to besiege their concession, pitched camps and operate illegal mining.

It was learnt that AGA as an international corporate body could not use force or any other means to get rid of the Chinese but to take due legal process hence the police arrest which later turned out to be fruitless.

GNA