Business News of Thursday, 22 November 2018
Obuasi Branch of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners has issued a strong warning to government that, its members would resist attempts to be oppressed in the country.
Leadership of the association say, their right cannot be violated anymore and that, they would ensure their rights are protected at all cost.
In a press conference held in Obuasi today, deputy national Public relation officer of the association, Mr. Benjamin Annan, expresses worry how a concession supposedly owned by the small scale miners has been allocated to Angel Mining company.
“The angel mining company is applying for a lease, hence the minerals commission has given them the go ahead for publication so that they could apply for a large scale mining lease.” They claimed.
The small scale miners are objecting to the publication by the company and warn the minerals commission to stop the process immediately to avoid conflict.
They want the commission to abide by the 2016 committee’s agreement to sustain the peaceful coexistence in the obuasi area.
The small scale miners recall that, in 2016, AngloGold Ashanti, took government of Ghana to the international Arbitration for not supporting the company’s decision to evict over four thousand,(4,000) illegal miners in various part of their concession.
This, according, to the company affected their investment after they had relinquished 60% of their 63.35km concession to small scale miners.
According to the small scale miners, government through the mineral commission formed 15-member committee to look into the matter.
The committee members included, Ghana national association of small scale miners, adansi traditional council, chamber of mines, Obuasi municipal assembly, representatives from CSO’s in Obuasi, Obuasi police and AngloGold Ashanti.
The committee headed by Mr. Kweku Frimpong Kuma from the office of the President was tasked to to develop and implement a roadmap to ensure a peaceful coexistence between the small scale miners and AGA.
According to the association, the committee finished its work in October 2016, submitted its report to minerals commission which then grouped the miners into cooperatives, and small scale miners.
The miners then applied for the concessions under contention.
Mr. Annan further says that, in 2017, the NPP government placed a ban on all illegal mining in order to curb the destruction of land, water bodies and farms.
That, he says, affected the processes of legalization of the area they applied for and everything became stalled.
The miners aren’t happy same area has been allocated to angel mining company.
The miners say, they would continue to engage the minerals commission on the matter and ensure that, their rights are protected at all cost.