Angry youth clash with Akonta Mining workers over illegal mining

Some angry youth at Samreboi, in the Wassa Amenfi West Municipality of the Western Region, on Wednesday clashed with workers of Akonta Mining Limited, over illegal mining activities in the Nimri Forest Reserve.

Two persons suffered gunshot wounds, the Ghanaian Times gathered.

Reports indicated that, drivers of Akonta Mining Limited were on that day, hauling a  washing plant and other equipment to the Nimri Forest, were stopped and allegedly attacked by the youth from the Samreboi community.

 Sensing danger, the sources said, the drivers also called their security personnel, who also arrived at the scene and attacked anybody on sight. 

“Bodyguards and security personnel (not in uniform) believed to be at the camp of Akonta Mining, arrived and begun to fire shots into the people, vehicles transporting washing plants to the Nimri Forest Reserve were also set ablaze by the youth,  after the confrontation,” an eye witness said. 

Addressing a news conference on Monday, at  Samreboi, the National  Chairman of  TWU, Mark Ofori Asante, said  “what is more alarming is that, forest reserves and plantations managed by Samatex Timber and Plywood Company Limited and other companies, were being destroyed for mining.

“Ghanaians, the people of Samreboi, the people of Wassa Amenfi and the people of Aowin have become very much concerned about mining activities which have now uncontrollably gone beyond water bodies, river banks, cocoa farms and now into forest reserves. 

 “As stakeholders, we must all come together to combat this menace orchestrated by a few individuals with selfish interest, claiming to have legal permit to mine in forest reserves,” Mr Asante noted.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources issued a release on Friday, directing the Forestry Commission to ensure that there were no activities in the Nimri Forest Reserve forthwith.

The directive followed publications about certain operations by Akonta Mining Limited intheTanoNimri Forest Reserve.

It said records showed that Akonta Mining Ltd, on August 25, 2022, applied for amining lease to undertake mining operations in the said forest reserve and that, “by a ministerial directive, all reconnaissance, prospecting and or exploratory activities in forest reserves in the country are suspended, except in exceptional circumstances.”

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