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Mine workers living in fear of attacks

  • SOURCE: | qwesa2big
  • galamsey 2Mine workers are serving notice they may be forced to withdraw services to the mines if the state cannot guarantee their safety.

    Illegal mining, known as ‘galamsey’, remains a threat to life and property at the mines as workers constantly come under attack from intruders.

    The issue of illegal mining activities gravely affected the industry during the first half of the year.

    In the period under review, mining companies such as AngloGold Ashanti – Obuasi mine, witnessed a gruesome attack by illegal small scale miners on its concession, resulting in the death of a top management staff of the company.

    Owere Mines in Konongo was also not spared in this nefarious enterprise as illegal miners invaded and took control of the mine’s concession for weeks, while owners and staff watched helplessly.

    Anglogold Ashanti, for instance, has out of desperation, sued Ghana government at the International Court of Arbitration over the issue.

    Government since assured the mining giant in response to the suit, that law and order be restored at its concession in Obuasi.

    “Today, our cherished members are living and working in fear. Their safety and security cannot be guaranteed anymore, given the organised, sophisticated and aggressive nature of these ‘galamseyers’ and their attacks on these concessions,” General Secretary, Ghana Mineworkers Union, Prince William Ankrah has warned.

    Government, last year amended portions of the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (ACT 703) that criminalizes illegal small scale mining activities as well as the confiscation of mining equipment from illegal miners.

    Some industry players however blame government for appearing to fuel the perpetuation of this illegality.

    Mr. Ankrah indicated: “We reluctantly however wish to commend the government for taking the bold decision to amend the law with the view to dealing substantially with this menace”.

    The union believes that enforcement of the law still remains a major challenge and needs to be looked at closely and implemented devoid of politicisation and cronyism.

    The General Secretary of the GMWU, Prince William Ankrah made the comments in his address at the Union’s National Executive Council meeting in Kumasi.


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