Small scale miners agree to relocate to end stand-off with Anglogold

Source: Joy Online

Small scale miners or artisanal miners in Obuasi have agreed to relocate to a new site designated for them by the Minerals Commission.

It comes after last week’s demonstration by small scale miners who destroyed public and private property in protest of mode of executing the relocation plan.

There has been a long stand-off between the small scale miners and AngloGold Ashanti over illegal occupation of the company’s concession.

The situation  compelled AngloGold Ashanti to sue government of Ghana over security concerns within its concession.

Agreement was however reached after officials of Minerals Commission met with leadership of Small Scale Miners in Obuasi.

AngloGold Ashanti has released 60 per cent of its concession to the artisanal miners but officials are worried small scale miners continue to trespass into the remaining 40 per cent retained.

The small scale miners argue the relinquished area was not fully prepared for mining.

Minerals Commission then  drew a roadmap to facilitate the relocation of 3,734 registered small scale miners to occupy these areas.

The roadmap gives each specific date for which each location should have been vacated.

The affected areas include  Nyamebekyere, Kotopreso, Abedwam, Ademanu, Suhyenso, Juabeso, and Amponyase.

Pegs have been sunk into holes in the lands indicating the space given to each miner being relocated meant to ease the process.

The illegal miners embarked on a demonstration last week, accusing AngloGold Ashanti of acting contrary to the roadmap.

Sustainability Manager, Nana Ampofo denies the claim.                                                                                        

The Minerals Commission had earlier on Wednesday, met with leadership of the miners who agreed to leave but they want AngloGold to further deepen mining pits  for them.

Executive Member of the Artisanal Miners Association, Chief Saaha-Naa Yahuza says the deposits at the new place are too deep in the ground.

Though they appreciate AngloGold’s effort, they therefore want AngloGold to help them further by digging deeper for them.

Nana Ampofo says the mine can only begin operation when they declare their remaining concession safe for work.

“I cannot put my finger on any specific date we have declared the area a no-go area for our employees, it only when security forces are able to secure the area and declare to us that it is now a go-area”.

After it has been declared, “That is when we can go back there and assess the extent of damage caused to our infrastructure and every other thing that is there,” he stressed.

According to him, the company is looking for an investor but it is after they have done all these things that we will be able to go out there and say that the mine is safe for business.

Meanwhile, the miners want authorities to allow them go for their equipments left on Anglo Gold Ashanti concessions for peace and cordiality to prevail between the two parties.

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