Regional News of Friday, 19 October 2012
The Amansie West Small-Scale Mining Association has called for probe into the death of a teenage Chinese miner at Mpatasie.
The deceased was said to have been hit by bullets fired by security personnel during a swoop on Chinese miners in the area on Thursday, October 11th.
More than 100 heavily armed security officers reportedly came from Accra to undertake the special operation that nabbed 90 Chinese.
Addressing a press conference at Manso-Nkwanta on Thursday, Mr Akwasi Abu, Chairman of the Association, said money, vehicles, refrigerators and other property seized from the miners should also be returned.
He discounted claims that the Chinese were into illegal mining, insisting that members of the association legitimately owned the concessions and had invited those foreigners to partner them to dig up the gold ore.
They could therefore not be accused of engaging in any unlawful activity.
Mr Abu said if anybody had any doubts about the legality or otherwise of the presence of the Chinese at the mining sites, the right thing to do, was to check with the concession owners.
The Chinese, he said, employed modern mining technology and the use of machines, making it easier for reclamation of mined areas.
It was also important to appreciate that they had significantly helped to create jobs for the people and that had brought down crime and other social evils in the district.
Mr Abu said it was disheartening that the action of the security officers had emboldened the local people to raid the sites to steal what had been left of the Chinese property.
Police Superintendent S. K. Kwakye, the Amansie West District Commander, declined to make any comment on the operation.