THE ACTIVITIES of illegal miners, popularly referred to as galamseyers, on the concessions of Anglo Gold Ashanti (AGA) Obuasi mine are increasingly becoming dangerous as they (galamseyers) have now resulted to the use of guns in their operations.
Reports reaching the paper indicate that two persons had suffered gun shot wounds from these illegal miners with the latest victim being Corporal Stephen Adu-Gyamfi of the company's Asset Protection Department (APD).
Confirming the report, the deputy Asset Protection Manager of AGA, Obuasi Mine, Yaw Nuamah Kutin said Corporal Djan was shot on the left buttock at the Cut three concession of the mine, on March 27, this year, around 8:30 pm while on duty.
He explained that four shots were allegedly fired by the unknown galamseyers and added that empty cartridges were retrieved later at the crime scene. At the time of filing this report, medical officers were yet to remove the bullets from his buttock.
He recalled how one Michael Nyamekye of Fraizer Company, a sub contracting firm of the company was also shot in the neck at his duty post at the Pompora Water Works on March 7, this year. The deputy Asset Protection Manager added that Nyamekye was currently receiving treatment at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.
Mr. Kutin said the company's Asset Protection Department patrol team again retrieved a Revolver loaded with seven rounds of ammunition from an illegal miner at 23 level GCS on February 25, this year, and added that the gun has since been shown to the Obuasi police.
He alleged that two factions of galamseyers recently engaged in a fierce gun battle over ownership of an illegal pit. It would be recalled that as a result of the way galamseyers were attacking the company, its workers and installations putting the future of the mine at risk, a stakeholders' meeting was called to find alternative solutions to the problem.
The meeting, which was attended by Chiefs, opinion leaders, assembly members and journalists, security personnel and management of AGA identified five key areas of concern, which would be addressed.
The five areas are connivance of AGA security, employment, community policing, support to local police and abandoned mining areas to the galamseyers.