Queen mother of the Wassa Fiase traditional area, Nana Abena Konagyewaa II has called on her people to give up suspects linked to the destruction of properties worth millions of dollars at the Wassa Mines of the Golden Star Resources, Benso in the western region.
She was speaking to journalists who had toured the facility.
On Thursday March 16, 2023, illegal small-scale miners set 12 vehicles among other assets ablaze, including excavators, ambulances, land cruisers and pick-ups, forcing the staff of the company to run for their lives.
Speaking to the media, the queen mother who was sad at the situation called on her people to help to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“”I wept when I saw the burnt vehicles.“
“I want to tell my people that if anyone knows the whereabouts of these perpetrators, they should inform the police for their arrest”, she said.
Meanwhile the Corporate Affairs manager for Golden Star Resources, Gerald Boakye says the company will have to be closed down for about three months at a great cost which will invariably affect their contribution to government’s gold for oil program.
“We haven’t actually calculated the cost but just for the purposes of analysis (you saw)
22 of them with their screens smashed
The dump truck itself will cost about $478,000 so to replace those, if we are taking just a fifth to repair the screen, that’s a lot of money.”
“The light vehicles, I won’t differentiate between ambulances and land cruisers, pickups but roughly (it costs) an amount of 60,000, per light vehicle and just bear in mind, we didn’t buy these at current prices so, it’s depreciated but now we have to secure them at current prices”
“Insurance shall pay but how about the time to recover? So whilst we are waiting to restore all these operations, we will be losing out.’
“… in terms of our contribution to the national economy, our contribution to the statutory payment will all go down. This year we saw the new regulation or sort of bye law which said we need to contribute 20% of our annual production to the gold for oil.
“Now look at the chain now, if golden star, one of our operations which contributes roughly about a third to our total production has to stop operating for about three months , that for me is real cost,” he said.
In a related development, the Ghana Chamber of Mines has condemned the attack on the Benso concession of Golden Star Resources (Wassa Mine).
In a statement signed by its CEO, Dr. Sulemanu Koney, it noted that the attack, which has left several persons injured as well as destruction of property worth millions of Ghana Cedis, presents a growing state of insecurity for Ghanaians and other international citizens working at the mine, the larger mining industry, and the country.
It said the Chamber is greatly concerned about the upsurge in attacks on mines in the country and the increasingly hostile and violent acts of the perpetrators despite the presence of Police Officers at the mines.
It has called on government to prioritise the security of the mines to reinforce the State’s role as a shareholder in all mining companies and owner of mineral resources and also guarantee a conducive environment for mining operations to be conducted.
While commending the Ghana Police Service for taking swift action to arrest the suspects, it hoped that prosecution will equally be swift.
By Shirley Awurama Smith|ConnectFM|Onuaonline.com