A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr George Mireku Duker, says the Ministry is collaborating with the security authorities to arrest and prosecute persons responsible for the attack on Benso Mine of Golden Star Wassa Limited in the Western Region.
According to him, as the leading body in Ghana’s mining sector, the Ministry was working to create the conducive and safe environment to enable licensed mining companies thrive.
To this end, he said, any group or individual that attacks a mining company would be made to face the full rigours of the law.
Mr Duker gave the assurance on Friday during a working visit to the company.
He noted that the government would play a frontal role in the strengthening of the broken relationship between the company and the community.
The Ministry, he said, was focused on undertaking its responsibilities towards building an attractive mining sector and facilitating the operations of licensed mining companies in the country.
Condemning the actions of the youth who attacked the company, Mr Duker said government had already taken measures to avoid a recurrence of same.
He said the Ministry recognises that the violent acts by the youth was uncalled for saying that such an incident must not in any way be encouraged.
“Know that once you have your requisite licence, government will always create the enabling environment for you to work.
Other issues that called for this will be addressed in due time but we want to comfort you and indicate to you that the government will assist in making sure that the perpetrators are brought to book and I’m happy that the law enforcement agencies are dealing with this,” he said.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, urged the company to improve its relationship with the community.
Assuring them of his readiness to contribute to the process, he said the company must take the initiative to address the concerns of the community.
The Minister further condemned the incident and promised that all efforts would be made to avoid destruction of properties and lives.
MrOwusuAchiaw, the Senior Manager of the Processing Department of the company, recounted the losses the company suffered following the violent acts adding that renovation works was underway to re-commence operations.
He described as welcoming the visit of Mr Duker and the Regional Minister, noting that it was a firm indication of government’s interest in their operations.
On Thursday, March 16, some illegal miners attacked the company’s site in Benso where 12 vehicles, including an ambulance, were torched.
One person was reported dead while four others sustained injuries.
The illegal miners were said to have invaded a concession of Golden Star, ostensibly to cart away mined dust to prospect for gold, an attempt which was resisted by a team of security men of the mining firm and the police.
Following the incident, Golden Star Wassa Limited suspended its operations at the Benso site in the Western Region for the next three months.
According to the company, the attack by the illegal miners would affect investor confidence and their production levels.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS