By Nicholas Osei-Wusu
The Obuasi East District Chief Executive, Madam Faustina Amissah, has emphasised that nobody has the right to enter the legal concession of AngloGold Ashanti for any reason.
Speaking to GBC News via telephone, the DCE admitted that even though times are hard owing to low employment opportunities for particularly the youth in the Obuasi geographical enclave, that reality should not be the basis for any resident to trespass the Mine.
Madam Amissah expressed support for the arrest and prosecution of the miners who entered the pit of AngloGold to deter the other residents looking for the least opportunity to also unlawfully go into the legal concession of the gold mine, adding that, the current incident is neither the first nor the second but has been recurring and creating problems for AngloGold Ashanti.
She insisted that the miners were far less than the speculated 300 and that they had not been trapped, as reported by a section of the media. Rather, they entered the pit well prepared to spend days prospecting for gold, as they have occasionally been doing. Additionally, they rather refused to come out despite encouragement by her and other opinion leaders to exit the pit for their safety for fear of being arrested by the police.
According to the DCE, previously, some of these trespassers who were arrested by the police were prosecuted and handed various sentences, including fines and various terms of imprisonment.
She warned that, if the culprits were not made to face the law, the grounds would have been prepared for many more youth to take the same cause at the expense of their own lives, security in the district, and the profitability of the legal concessionaire of the mine.
Meanwhile, an additional 79 miners have come out of the AngloGold Ashanti underground mine in the Ashanti region. This brings the total to more than one hundred miners who entered the pit without authorisation from AngloGold Ashanti, the legal owners of the concession.
The 79 illegal miners came out of the pits late on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, and were arrested by the team of police and military personnel on standby.
They were sent to the Police Station to assist the police in their investigation for the law to take its course thereafter. In a statement, management of AngloGold Ashanti explained that the miners walked out of the pit on their own but could not establish whether or not there were any more miners underground.
It noted that the exit points of the pit remain open for anyone underground to come out and that the company will continue to collaborate with the state security agencies to ensure order.
The statement expressed the appreciation of AngloGold Ashanti’s management for all those who have cooperated and assisted in bringing the situation under control. Calm has also been restored to Obuasi.