The uncontrolled use of mercury and explosives by illegal miners is causing immeasurable pollution to the Black Volta and destroying the surrounding environment.
The illegal miners also exploit the labour of children, who are expected to be in school, thus exposing them to diseases and hazards.
Mr Vitus Ngaanuma, the Community Relations Manager of Azumah Resources ,Ghana Limited, an Australian Company, mining gold in the Upper West Region, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, at Nadowli.
He further disclosed that the illegal miners possess guns and illicit drugs, and create social unrest in the communities, in which they are.
Mr Ngaanuma said recently, three illegal miners from Chari in the Nadowli-Kaleo district, who were illegally exploring for gold in Azumah’s concession died when an underground pit collapsed on them.
He reiterated that the deaths of the miners should be a wake-up call for the authorities to act quickly and decisively, and stamp out the increasing illegal mining in the company’s concession.
Mr Ngaanuma also called for collective efforts to curb illegal mining, stop environmental degradation, and asked the Environmental Protection Agency to confiscate the equipment and machinery of illegal miners.