The Municipal Chief Executive of Obuasi, Elijah Adansi-Bonah has issued a strong warning to illegal miners operating on the concession of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine to immediately stop such activities.
The MCE gave this directive in his interactions with the media at the sidelines of a General Assembly meeting held in Obuasi on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
It will be recalled that some illegal miners were captured in a viral video running away with some items after invading underground sites of AngloGold Ashanti in Obuasi.
Again some 30 illegal miners were recently arrested in Obuasi by soldiers while allegedly mining on a concession belonging to AngloGold Ashanti.
The Obuasi MCE said the issue should be of national interest considering the importance of AngloGold Ashanti to the socio-economic development of Ghana.
“This issue is very sensitive. It is not about AngloGold Ashanti nor the Obuasi Municipal Assembly. It is of national concern since activities of illegal miners on the concessions of AngloGold Ashanti was one of the reasons the company almost folded up around 2014/2015”.
He mentioned that the company has contributed tremendously to the development of Obuasi since 2019 when it was redeveloped fearing that an intrusion of their underground sites and concessions will jeopardise efforts made by the government in reviving the Obuasi Mine.
He appealed to residents of Obuasi to take advantage of the numerous opportunities presented by AngloGold Ashanti in both direct and indirect jobs and not create a situation where the Mine will consider leaving Obuasi.
Issues of illegal mining has been a major headache of AngloGold Ashanti as the company has over the years struggled to deal with the activities of illegal miners in its Obuasi Mine.
In 2016, it issued a threat that it will leave the country if government was not able to stop the operations of illegal miners on their concessions.
Speaking to the press in Accra, the Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti, Eric Asubonteng said the activities of illegal miners is posing a threat to the security and peace of the mine and is affecting the effective operations of Obuasi mine.
“Our concessions are not safe and if the activities of illegal miners will continue without government doing anything about it then we will advise ourselves”.
“Illegal miners have been looting large quantities of high-grade gold bearing material for more than two months. In the process they are causing significant damage to critical infrastructure,” he said.
A deep throat source at Anglogold Ashanti has revealed to this reporter that investors are currently not happy with recent developments regarding the invasion of the Obuasi Mine by illegal miners and are working with stakeholders for a swift intervention to salvage the situation.
Samson Manu, Mun. Inf. Officer, Obsi|Onuaonline.com