General News of Friday, 16 March 2018
Five miners arrested on Thursday for using zinc and cyanide in their illegal operations at Aboso in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region will be put before court today [Friday].
The five, including four Chinese and one Ghanaian, were arrested by government’s anti-galamsey task-force, Operation Vanguard, after a swoop on their site in Aboso.
The team found that the miners were using large quantities of cyanide and other toxic substances in their operations.
National Commander of Operation Vanguard, Colonel Michael Amoah Ayisi in a Citi News interview, said those arrested include the owner of the illegal mining company.
“We were able to arrest 4 people and the owner of the facility. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were brought in to help us do the assessment and also confirm certain things and make them face prosecution.”
“Currently, the suspects are at the Tarkwa Divisional Police Command and we are preparing them for prosecution at the law court.”
Meanwhile, EPA says it will begin cleaning up the site today, to avoid further contamination of the area.
The Senior Programs Officer at the Tarkwa office of the EPA, Moses Kpebu said “We’ll cordon off the place and we are discussing with stakeholders to help us clean up the place. We are dealing with high pollutants so we are mindful about how we deal with the situation,” he said.
The anti-galamsey task-force was deployed to three regions; Ashanti, Western and Eastern about five months ago, to help fight and sustain the campaign against illegal mining.
Their operations have resulted in the arrest of at least 600 illegal miners including foreign nationals, particularly Chinese.
The deployment of the joint police and military task-force came as a major boost to government’s fight against illegal mining in the country, following news of its devastating effects on the country’s land and water resources.
The government placed a six-month ban on all forms of mining until further notice, but has extended it again after the January 2018 deadline because the needed result has not been achieved.