Regional News of Thursday, 27 July 2006

Source: GNA

Groups call for action on cyanide spillage

Accra, July 27, GNA -- Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) has called on the International Cyanide Management Institute to investigate the spilling of cyanide into Ghanaian rivers by Golden Star Resources, a multi-national mining company. Within two years, Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL), a Ghanaian subsidiary of Golden Star Resources (GSR), a US-Canadian company, has spilled cyanide, an extremely poisonous chemical, twice into rivers in its operational area.

A statement issued by WACAM in conjunction with Earthworks; FIAN- Germany; FIAN-Ghana; MiningWatch Canada and Oxfam America on Thursday called for strict supervision of the activities of the mining company in Ghana.

The statement observed that GRS, the parent company of BGL, was a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code, a voluntary initiative for gold mining companies aimed at improving the management of cyanide to reduce spillages.

It said on October 23 2004 and on June 16 2006 there were cyanide spillages into the Ajoo Stream, a tributary of River Aprepre and on both occasions the BGL did not tell the local communities about the accidents early and many people drank the water or ate fish from the river and suffered from various ailments.

Nana Korkye, Chief of Dumase, a community that had been bearing the brunt of the cyanide spillages said: 93To date I continue to receive complaints of sickness from some people, who were affected by 2004 spillage.=94

The statement said: 93The Cyanide Code is meaningless if a company with bad track record of cyanide management, such as Golden Star Resources, is not immediately and thoroughly audited.=94 27 July 27, 06