12.05.2005 Business & Finance

Galamsey casualties on mining concessions need national intervention

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Obuasi, May 12, GNA - AngloGold Ashanti (Obuasi) has restated that the increasing galamsey activities on its concession and other mining areas are worrying, which need national intervention in addressing it. Mg George Osei-Sasu, the Acting General Manager in-charge of Human Resources, who made the statement on Wednesday therefore, called for global action against the illegal mining activities.

This was when some management staff of the company led a team of newsmen and police to inspect some of the illegal pits the galamsey operators had constructed in some parts of the company's concession. The disturbing issue is that most of these illegal pits are close to the company's active mining areas linking up to the various levels underground.

Mr Osei-Sasu said it was in line with addressing the problem globally and not individual mining companies that the Ghana Chamber of Mine was trying to do something about it.

"That is the more reason why the Chamber of Mines, in league with the mining companies should try to make sure we solve the illegal mining activities once and for all," the Acting General Manager stressed.

Mr Osei-Sasu said as part of efforts to end the galamsey operations, the company was prepared to create an alternative livelihood project for them, including the President's Special Initiative (PSI) on cassava but they are not interested because of their lust for quick money.

Briefing the newsmen on the activities of the illegal miners, Colonel Steve Oduro-Kwarteng (Rtd) said at the moment the Company had no freedom to operate on its legally acquired concession due to the activities of the galamsey operators.

"What is disturbing is that they operate where we have out shafts and at times actually confront our miners underground." The Head of Special Services Division said the Company had, on two or three occasions warned the illegal miners but "as I am speaking now they have gone to re-take the shafts."

Col. Oduro-Kwarteng said the situation could not be allowed to continue since their activities was dangerous to the Company, themselves and the environment.

"We want to give them the warning to pack their equipment in the pit before we cover them up," He said.

The areas where the illegal mining activities were concentrated included the Ellis Shaft of the Obuasi section, the Cut Three and Four of the Sanav section of the mine and the Dokyiwa tailings dam.

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