Minister calls for calm amid rising tension over AngloGold land
Obuasi (Ash), Jan. 18, GNA - The Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources has called for calm amid rising tension over demands that AngloGold Ashanti, cede part of its mining concession to artisanal miners for their operation.
Nii Osah Mills, the Sector Minister, made the call after he met separately with the management of the global mining company, the leadership of the small-scale miners and the municipal security committee, behind closed doors in Obuasi.
The small-scale miners had recently held series of demonstrations to put pressure on AngloGold to let go part of its vast acquired land.
The Minister, accompanied by his Deputy, Mr. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said every effort would be made to resolve the matter in a way that would be a win-win for all sides.
He told newsmen after the meeting that the company had already signaled its intention to give up 270 kilometer square of its concession as part of a planned programme to restructure its operation.
This was equivalent to 60 per cent of its legally held land and Nii Osah Mills said once AngloGold was through with the process there would be enough space available for other companies and small-scale miners to apply to work on.
He therefore encouraged the artisanal miners to pool together to form group and formally acquire part of the ceded land to do business.
The Minister reminded everybody to get right with the law by accepting to follow due processes.
Mr. Haruna Seidu Aboagye, Secretary, Obuasi Small Scale Miners Association, welcomed the intervention by the Minister and pledged their cooperation.
He, however, discounted the move by AngloGold to surrender a portion of its concession, saying, what was on offer had already been mined and economically not viable.
The land, he added, had no attraction for members of the association. GNA