Illegal Miners In Trouble In Upper East

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources interacting with miners at Gbane

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh
has issued a stern warning to persons embarking on “galamasey”
(illegal mining activities) in the Talensi District and in the Upper East
Region and other mining areas in the country, to desist and rather use the
right approach for mining, if they are interested in operating in the mining
sector.

Even though the minister did not mention the exact punishment that
would be given to such persons when caught, he hinted that the punishment would
be very severe and would have a lot of consequence on offenders.

“We have done a lot of education; opportunities have been
given for people to regularize their operations and so much has been done to
discourage people from doing illegal mining. We are working to sanitize the
sector and so if there is anyone who does not want to do what is right and that
person is apprehended, the laws will be applied; if someone is arrested for
getting involved in illegal mining, the minimum punishment is about 15 years imprisonment
and 25 years maximum,” he said.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources was speaking at
Gbane, in the Talensi District, when he paid a working visit to the office of Shaanxi
Ghana Limited, which was providing mining support service for Nyeyeya and
Pubortaba Mining Groups in the area.

The minister also inspected works and structures put in place by
Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited to improve on the safety of the workers at the mining
site, especially the underground miners.

Earlier the Chief Executive Officer of Shaanxi Mining Ghana
Limited, Wei Xing, through an interpreter complained that, some illegal miners
kept creating unapproved underground tunnels to enter its underground area to
steal ore and also altered some of its underground structures. 

“Some people have been entering our concession through some
illegal mining pits and this is a worry to us. Their activities are a big
challenge to all the effort we are making to improve on our safety measure and
to curb accidents in our operations here. Some of the pits that were sealed on
the directive of government, have been opened and being used to frustrate our
work.”

The Public Relations Officer of Shaanxi, Maxwell Woomah told the media that some persons had been arrested and handed over to the police for entering Shaanxi’s underground area through an illegal pit to steal and destabilize its underground structures.

FROM: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Gbane