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14.08.2004 Business & Finance

Help solve illegal mining activities at Obuasi- Nana

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Obuasi (Ash), Aug 14, GNA- A member of Council of State, Nana Prah Agyensiam VI, on Thursday urged the Obuasi Municipal Assembly and AngloGold Ashanti, to find permanent solution to illegal mining at Obuasi.

"You have to find a solution to the illegal mining activities so that the government, the company and the stakeholders will have their peace of mind", he said.

Nana Agyensiam made the call when he and Dr K.A. Owusu-Ansah, who is also a Council of State member paid a two-day working visit to the Obuasi mines.

The two constitute the Council of State ad-hoc committee on mining and were in Obuasi as part of their fact-finding tour of mining communities in the country to assess the environmental practices of mining companies.

Miss Joyce Aryee, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and officials of Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) including its Commissioner, Brigadier-General Richardson E. Baiden accompanied them.

Nana Agyensiam said it was important for the "galamsey" activities to be well addressed, adding, "You should look at the possibilities of solving this social problem".

He asked the Obuasi Municipal Assembly to continuously educate illegal miners on the need to find more sustainable alternative livelihood or get registered with the Minerals Commission to enable them to operate small-scale mining.

Miss Aryee noted that since there were alternatives, which were more sustainable for the illegal miners, the law would deal severely with those who wanted to operate illegally.

Mr Joe Boampong, the Municipal Chief Executive, said there was the need for the illegal operators to sit down with the management of AngloGold Ashanti, and find out if it would be possible for the company to allocate some abandoned pits to the illegal operators.

Mr Nigel Trevarthen, Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti who briefed the Council of State members, said there were " a whole lot of illegal mining activities in the area which are jeopardising the health and safety of employees" of AngloGold Ashanti.

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