The ‘galamseyers’ are from seven communities in the Asante Akyem Central Municipality of the Region and invaded the area to tap the rich gold deposits citing the company’s dormancy to dig for gold in those areas.
Class FM’s Hafiz Tijani reports that several farmlands in and around Konongo-Odumasi have also been destroyed by the illegal miners. The Owere River is also threatened by rampant pollution of the illegal miners. The company says the illegal entry which started on Monday 4th April has been very disturbing and petitioned the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to intervene.
The Regional Security Council is mediating similar tensions between AngloGold Obuasi Mines and residents in that area.
Ashanti Regional Minister John Alexander Ackon told Class News in an interview that he has directed the district security council to immediately act on the matter to forestall and unfortunate incidents.
“We need to understand the actual cause of that development and why the original owners, Owere Mines, abandoned the facility and why it has taken them so long to come around. They have sent a petition detailing the areas to which their lands have been decimated and they [illegal miners] are attacking all over the place. I have asked the district security council under the Konongo Municpal Chief Executive to intervene and give me an immediate report and we will take the next line of action,” he explained.
Although the Owere Mines have stalled operation for some time, management indicates that they are finalizing preparations to revamp the mines.
Class News understands that Owere Mines have an active mining lease that will expire in June 2023.
The Head of Security at the Owere Mines, David Nguettia said the activities of the illegal miners pose a big threat to the company and the entire community.
He stated that: “We risk our items being stolen and we have a lot machines and plants there. They do not close the pits after digging and it also becomes a death trap. When you intervene they threaten you at gunpoint. One of my guards has been attacked before and the seized his equipment as the wielded about five locally manufactured guns”.