The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, Obuasi Branch, is warning the government and the officials of Minerals Commission to resist any oppressor and ensure that their rights are protected at all cost because they are citizens and not spectators. This was said in a Press Conference by the Small Scale Miners’, Obuasi Branch today in Obuasi.
In 2016, the Multi National Mining Company AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine took the then Government to the International Court of Arbitration for not supporting the company to evict the over four thousand (4,000) illegal miners’ who have invaded various parts of the company’s concession. The invasion of the illegal miners’ affected the Company’s huge investment they had made for their comeback after they had gone on Care and Maintenance for over two years.
In response to this, the Government on August 3, 2016 through the Minerals Commission inaugurated a fifteen (15) Member Impasse Movement Committee after The Obuasi Must Not Die Coalition appealed to the Government to restore life back to Obuasi by giving priority to the Small Scale Miners in Obuasi to allocate portions of the 60% concession that AngloGold Ashanti had relinquished to the Government . The committee comprised of representatives from Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners’, The Adansi Traditional Council, The Chamber of Mines, the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, Civil Society Organizations, The Police Services, and the AngloGold Ashanti. The Committee was headed by Mr. Kwaku Frimpong Kumah, from the office of the President.
The mandate of the Committee was to evict the illegal Miners’ who had invaded AngloGold Ashanti’s 40% retained Concession and to give guidelines on how to give the relinquished 60% concession to the Small Scale Miners. The Committee finished and submitted its report to the Minerals Commission in October 2016. The Miners were grouped into cooperatives, applied for the concessions and priorities were given to them.
BAN ON SMALL SCALE
In March 2017, the Government through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in an effort to curb the negative impacts of Illegal Mining inaugurated Inter Ministerial Taskforce and Operation Vanguard, a Multi Sectorial Security Taskforce headquartered in Obuasi East District in Ashanti Region; to ensure the moratorium on all forms of Small Scale Mining in the country is strictly adhered to. The ban has been on all forms of the Small Scale Mining activities till today.
According to the Small Scale Miners, on 16th November,2018 they saw a publication of notice for application of mineral lease from the Minerals Commission by Angel Mining Company Limited for about 92.04km2 of the same piece of concession that has been allocated to them by the Minerals Commission in 2016. The Miners are worried and do not understand why the Minerals Commission who allocated the concession to them 2 years ago will still allow Angel Mining Company Limited to go ahead to file notice of publication for the same land.
According to them, The Chiefs, Opinion Leaders, and the Youth in Obuasi Municipality and Amansie area are strongly objecting to the publication of Angel Mining Company to be given license to prospect for gold in the said area and are warning the Minerals Commission to stop the process immediately to avoid any conflict and follow the guidance that has been suggested by the Impasse Movement Commtee in 2016. “We want AngloGold Ashanti to have their peace of mind to work without any problem with the Obuasi Community so that their investors will have confidence in the huge investments they are putting in the Obuasi Mine to resurrect Obuasi back to normalcy”.
They further asked and entreated all Small Scale Miners’ to remain calm since the leadership of the Ghana National of Small Scale Miners’ are engaging the Minerals Commission to ensure that the areas allocated to them are protected.
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