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General News of Sunday, 26 May 2019

Source: My News GH

We’re tired of ‘mining deaths’ in Gbane - Minister laments as illegal pits are sealed


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Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio has revealed that government is fed up with ‘Mining Deaths’ following recurring collapse of illegal mining pits belonging to some small-scale miners at Gbane in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, which have since been sealed.

The exercise is an implementation of a recommendation made by a committee set up by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to investigate the cause of an accident that claimed 16 lives in January this year.

The mining pit where 16 miners died and said to belong to a popular small-scale miner, Kwesi Bantama has also been sealed.

The incident was one of the several instances where persons said to be illegal miners died following mining blasts often carried out by Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited, a Chinese firm operating in the area.

The protracted feud between the Chinese Mining Company and some small scale-miners has resulted in series of mining accidents and demonstrations amidst accusations of compromise on the part of some government and traditional authorities.

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio paid a visit to the mining area in the company of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission Addae Antwi-Boasiako to commence the sealing exercise.

The Honorable Deputy Minister said the decision to seal the illegal mining pits is one of the several actions taken by the ministry to stop the frequent deaths resulting from mining accidents in the area.

“The people of Ghana and the entire nation are tired of these happenings here. We have been here before but when we left it still went on, so this time we are here to seal the pits once and for all” he said.

He indicated that representatives of all the stakeholders involved including leadership of the small scale miners were met by the ministry in Kumasi for deliberations on the action undertaken.

Though owners of the pits had earlier attempted to stop the sealing of their pits by seeking a court injunction, their requests were struck out.

The Minister however observed that following the striking out of case in court, the ministry has the mandate to seal the pits.

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