22.05.2005 General News

"Galamsey" operators invade Amenfi East District

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Abawso (W/R), May 22, GNA - Hundreds of illegal miners ("galamsey operators") mostly from Bogoso, Prestea and Tarkwa areas in the Wassa West District have moved to Abawso and its environs in the Amenfi East District to ply their trade.

This followed months of speculations that security personnel were preparing to clamp down on their activities that had been a source of worry to environmentalists and mining companies in the Western Region. Mr. Eric Coffie Rivers, secretary to the Small Scale Gold Miners Association disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency at Abawso on Friday. He said the sudden influx of "galamsey" operators to the area had created tension between the inhabitants on the one hand and the operators and their collaborators on the other, because their activities causing serious degradation of the environment and pollution of water bodies.

Mr Rivers, who is the Managing Director of the Abawso Golden Resources Mining Company, said the illegal miners were already operating in parts on the company's concession. He appealed to the security agencies, the Minerals Commission, the Mines Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and other stakeholders to go to the aid of the people to check the operations of these illegal miners. 22 May 05

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