AngloGold Ashanti secures concession vacated by illegal miners

Illegal-mining-in-Ghana-560x390AngloGold Ashanti Ghana (AGAG) says areas of the concession vacated by illegal miners in recent days are to remain secured and free of any illegal mining activity, under the directive from the Minerals Commission.

A statement issued by the company in Accra yesterday said even though the original deadline for a cessation of this unauthorised mining activity had passed, the Minerals Commission continues to work with key stakeholders to move the illegal miners from the remaining parts of the concession, whilst ensuring areas already secured are not reoccupied

On Tuesday, October 18, the security task force took the first steps to restore safety and security to the Obuasi concession, which was invaded by illegal miners in February 2016.

Their activities started with the fenced, operational areas of the mine and, once secured will move to other parts of the concession.

The statement said following an absence of almost nine months, the return of the security contingent to the mine on Wednesday, 18 October, led to a number of protests in Obuasi.

This it said prompted the Municipal Security Council to issue a ‘roadmap’ which extended the relocation period up to November 10 2016.

“The Minerals Commission subsequently amended the roadmap indicating that areas within the AGAG Mining lease which had been secured by the security agencies should remain secured and therefore, free of illegal mining activity while the “unauthorized miners” in those areas were relocated in accordance with the road map developed,” the statement said.

AGAG continues to work closely with the Minerals Commission, while urging authorities (including MUSEC, the Security Agencies, the Minerals Commission and all relevant stakeholders) to restore law and order peacefully, as they did during the limited deployment in late July when they cleared the Sansu Lizard Face and Wawase areas.

 Unless and until the company’s concession areas are fully cleared of illegal miners and the company can assess the damage caused over the past eight months, the company remains subject to a state of force majeure, as declared in February 2016 at the outset of the crisis.

The directive to clear the site of illegal mining by October 10 was given by the Minerals Commission which, along with a multi-stakeholder committee it established, has prepared an alternative site nearby for the miners to relocate to.

 

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