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31.05.2007 General News

Stay off our concessions- Anglogold Ashanti

By GNA

The Management of Anglogold Ashanti (Obuasi) Mine has issued a strong warning to illegal miners to stay off its concessions as the Company has started the destruction of all illegal mining pits identified within the area.

The Company is using heavy earth-moving machines and explosives to cover the illegal pits.

The Company said to ensure that no small-scale miner was injured in the process it had made several radio announcements and the posting of warning notices on the pits about the Company's intentions, but the illegal miners were ignoring them.

Colonel Steve Oduro Kwarteng (rtd) the Company's Asset Protection Manager, who conducted newsmen round some of the pits, expressed concern about the manner some of the small-scale miners had started re-activating the already sealed pits.

At the Ellis Shaft and West Walley Top Forest Area, the newsmen were shown dotted illegal pits constructed by the small-scale miners which were yet to be destroyed.

Col. Oduro Kwarteng, who was accompanied by the pits destruction squad, wondered why the small-scale miners should compete with the Company's workers underground and in most cases threatened the lives of the workers.

Col. Oduro Kwarteng said the Company was really facing challenges from the "galamsey" operators as "all efforts we are putting in to prevent them from the Mine was being overlooked".

He said almost everyday, new illegal pits were discovered and added that the small-scale miners were indeed disturbing their operations.

The Asset Protection Manager said as a result of the operations of the small-scale miners, the re-vegetation programme, which the Company had spent millions of dollars on was being destroyed.

He gave the assurance that the sealing of the pits would be an ongoing programme to check the activities of the galamsey operators.

It would be recalled that the Country Manager of Anglogold Ashanti, Ernest Kofi Abankroh, recently briefed the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on the activities of the small-scale miners at Manhyia in Kumasi.

He noted that their activities were dangerous both to their own lives and the community.

The Asantehene suggested to the Company to team up with the Ashanti Regional Security Council to come out with a programme to address the problem.

Source: GNA

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