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General News of Friday, 24 May 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Illegal mining pits in Gbane sealed

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission has sealed all illegal pits linked to Pubotaaba and Yenyeya mining groups in the Gbane area in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.

The five illegal pits owned by Kwesi Appiah (Kwesi Bantama), Kofi Macho and Abacazor Dani(Taller) are mostly used by illegal miners to link the mine of Pubotaaba and Yenyeya to steal gold ore resulting in frequent deaths of some illegal miners.

Seventeen illegal miners were trapped and killed in 2017 and 2019 respectively as they attempted using the illegal pits to steal gold ore.

Recommendations made by the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission to seal all illegal pits following the recent deaths of 16 miners in the area.

But the affected operators of the illegal pits secured an interlocutory injunction the Bolgatanga high court to stop the intended exercise.

But speaking to Citi News at Gbane, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural resources, Benito Owusu-Bio indicated that, the court has struck out the injunction.

“We are here to help stop the frequent deaths that have been happening in this town and community. The people of Ghana and the entire nation is tired of always hearing of these happenings and so we are here to seal the pits once and for all. We met with the owners of these illegal pits in Kumasi and we explained issues to them, it has been a court issue where they went to court for an interlocutory injunction and it has been struck out so legally, we have the mandate to carry out what we are here to do.

We are not to have any confrontation with anybody neither are here to arrest anybody so we went your cooperation of everyone here”.

A joint Military-Police force supervise the sealing exercise on Thursday morning at Gbane.

Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission Addae Antwi-Boasiako assured that government through the Minerals commission will soon commence alternative mining programs including the Community Mining program to address concerns of affected illegal miners.

Public Relations Officer of Pubotaaba and Yenyeya mining group, Maxwell Wooma described the exercise as a great relief and a panacea to the avoidable deaths of illegal miners in the area.