Illegal miners operating on the concession of AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) at Obuasi are to completely evacuate the mines today, Monday, October 10, 2016 or face forcible eviction.
The Minerals Commission, which gave the directive, said a new area within the surrendered portions of the AGA concession had been allocated for the unlicensed miners to relocate.
In January 2016, a group of informal miners invaded the AGA mine and have been working illegally to date which has resulted in numerous reported accidents and casualties underground.
In order to avoid unnecessary violent confrontation and possible loss of lives, government opted to negotiate the exit of these unauthorized operators on the mine.
Dr. Tony Aubyn, Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, who was addressing a press conference in Accra said, “While we do not approve of the invasion on a company’s legitimately acquired concession because a group needs a place to work, AGA agreed to cede and have indeed ceded about 60 percent of their concession to government through the Minerals Commission.”
He said the surrendered grounds had been thoroughly investigated and found to be highly mineralized.
In view of that, Dr. Aubyn said all the informal miners currently working on the AGA must cease the opportunity to formalize their operations with the Minerals Commission and other relevant government agencies within the surrendered areas that had been prepared for them.
Works On new concession
He said mapping and preparation of three key areas within 60 percent surrounded area earmarked for the relocation had been completed and ready for allocation to the illegal miners.
“An estimated three kilometers of access road has been cleared to the mining site at Suhyienso and another half a kilometer of access road was cleared to the mining site at Kotopreso and its environs. Further clearing and trenching of sites located at Adumanu is also in progress, Dr Aubyn added.
He said the Minerals Commission cannot guarantee that they (illegal miners) would not be relocated through other legitimate means if they fail to move by the said date.
The Commission, Dr Aubyn said, can also not guarantee allocation of the new site if they fail to relocate by the said date.
The illegal miners operating on AngloGold Ashanti concessions at Obuasi were given a four-day ultimatum by the Minerals Commission to the mines last Friday.
By Cephas Larbi