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15.11.2005 Business & Finance

AngloGold Ashanti warns small-scale gold operators

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Obuasi, Nov.15, GNA - Management of the AngloGold Ashanti Mine at Obuasi has warned small scale gold miners to keep off the mine's restricted areas for their safety and the growth of the gold industry. Mr. George Osei-Sasu, Acting General Manager, Human Resources of the Mine gave the warning at the weekend when he led a management team and newsmen to visit the Ore Bin sites at the Kwasi Mensah Shaft where an unidentified illegal miner was crashed to death by a truck that was preparing to load ore to the Sulphide Treatment Plant for processing.

The Ore Bin with 1,000 tonnes capacity is the Bin where ore generated underground are brought to the surface through a cage and later transported into it by a conveyor before the ore are loaded into trucks and sent to the Sulphide Treatment Plant for processing. "The small scale gold miners should seriously think of their safety and stay away from the mine restricted areas," Mr. Osei-Sasu stressed. The Acting General Manager said illegal mining was not the best and that the small scale gold miners should contact the Minerals Commission for a suitable site for their operations that would be completely different place from the mine concession.

"We are not against people looking for daily bread but they should not do so through illegal mining," He said.

Explaining the circumstances that led to the death of the illegal miner, Mr. Kofi Mensah Brobbey, Manager in charge of Safety, Health and Environment of the Mine, said the ore were loaded into the trucks through a chute operated by compressed air since it was the ore the small scale gold miners were highly interested.

He said though the company tried to drive these illegal miners away, they managed to return to struggle for the spillage as a result of the loading.

"And so this morning at three o'clock, a group of small scale gold miners came here to search for ore and whilst one of the trucks was reversing to position itself under the chute for it to be loaded, the truck crashed one of them against the wall of the ore bin, killing him instantly," Mr. Brobbey said.

The Manager said the body had been deposited at the Company's Hospital waiting for identification.

Colonel Steve Oduro-Kwarteng (rtd), Head of the Special Services Division, said the Company would intensify its security patrols since the activities of the small-scale gold miners were disturbing the Company.

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