A total of 4,200 illegal miners who invaded the concession of Anglogold Ashanti Ghana Limited (AGAG) in Obuasi early this year have been relocated.
This followed an agreement reached for the Anglogold to cede part of its concession to them.
They were cleared by the Mineral Commission in the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) in a joint relocation exercise, which began in September and ended last Friday.
Briefing the media in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive of the commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn, said new sites had been allocated to the miners off the concession area of AGAG in Obuasi, where they were currently operating after series of capacity building workshops.
“At the end of the relocation exercise, about 3,350 informal miners have been relocated from the AGAG concession to the northern part of the ceded area- namely Adedwum, Adumanu and Jacobu. Another 750 were moved to the southern part of the ceded area comprising Kotopreso, Tema Ridge, Amponyase and Akasu,” he said.
Dr. Aubynn revealed that the last group of 100 miners evacuated from Adompe area last Friday, was currently going through a plot allocation process.
He stated that Anglogold had initiated moves to seal off the evacuated area and permanently shield it against invasion, while the military and police continued to provide security.
He explained that the move formed part of efforts to regulate activities in the mining sector and protect the company’s concessions from invasion, adding that the exercise had also helped to educate the illegal miners not to engage in mining activities that would destroy the environment.
Dr. Aubynn warned illegal miners and small-scale miners not to operate in areas not allocated to them by the Mineral Commission, adding that “government urged prospective small scale miners to acquire legitimate mining permits to operate, rather than resorting to mining on the concessions of large scale mines.”
According to him, such actions were inimical to the growth of the industry and could negatively impact on the image of the country while driving investors away.
He was, however, hopeful that Anglogold would work with government to develop the over eight million ounces of gold at the Obuasi enclave.
Dr. Aubynn expressed the optimism of a brighter prospect for the mining industry, citing three underground projects that would be commenced next year to boost mineral extractions.
He named them as Newmont Ahafo project Golden Star Resource at Wasa and Prestea Mines which would come on stream to increase the capacity of minerals produced in the country
By Charles Amankwa