WACAM has lashed out at staff of AngloGold Ashanti accusing them of collaborating with illegal miners to invade the company’s concessions.
Director of WACAM Hannah Owusu-Koranteng said staff of the company cannot be absolved of blame over the development. Officials of AngloGold have announced that at least 64 illegal miners have died this year in various forms of accidents after they invaded their shaft.
The incursion, which became more pronounced since January 2016 was as a result of government’s decision to withdraw military personnel assigned to guard the shaft. The company went as far as to petition the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Dispute to compel the Ghanaian government to restore maximum security to the concession.
But Owusu-Koranteng told Starr Business she suspects some workers of AngloGold are collaborating with the illegal miners to invade their shafts.
“If we look at the whole menace of galamsey in Obuasi, you can’t solely blame the people involved in it. Many factors should be looked at. For instance, how come galamsey people can go underground when the mine already had its own security? I believe that for anybody to dare to do so, means that there’s some level of collaboration with the company itself,” she posited.
She added: “It doesn’t happen often that you live in your house and then somebody will just break in and start operations and you appear to be helpless. At least, there are some mechanisms in the country for you (AngloGold Ashanti) to seek redress”.
Meanwhile, government, had since August 2016, deployed security forces to flush out illegal miners operating in the Sansu Lizard Face and Wawase Mines in Obuasi, where Anglogold Ashanti runs its operations. This was after the company threatened to withdraw remaining staff who were carrying out critical tasks such as undertaking water pumping and ventilation activities in accordance with its safety and security protocols. It has, however, urged government to deploy security agents to the significant remainder of the concession which is still unguarded.
Source: Ghana/starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Tawakalitu Braimah
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