The Minerals Commission has started the allocation of concessions to unauthorised miners who have invaded the AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Obuasi Mines.
“We have started mapping out the allocated places to the leadership of the various groups. What we are doing is to put the ghetto group names on the allocated land together with the number of plots they are getting. That is what has been happening from Wednesday,” he said.
He however mentioned that the miners have not moved out of the AngloGold Concessions, but it was their leaders that have come for the allocations. They would in turn go and inform their members to move out after.
The Minerals Commission had earlier set an October 10 deadline for unauthorised miners who have invaded the AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Obuasi Mines to relocate to the newly designated areas acquired for them by the government.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Dr Tony Aubyn, the commission cannot guarantee that other legitimate means would not be enforced in the event that they fail to comply with the directive.
“The Minerals Commission cannot guarantee that they will not be moved by other legitimate means if they fail to move by the said date. The commission can also not guarantee allocation of the new site if they fail to relocate by the said date,” he added.
Per the country’s Mining Regulations on permitting, health and safety enforcement at all mining sites, all informal miners within the retained AGA concession are to relocate to the prepared areas within the surrendered portions of the AGA concession.
Dr Aubyn explained that all the informal miners currently working on the AGA retain concession are expected to formalise their operations with the Minerals Commission and other relevant government agencies within the surrendered areas that have been prepared for them.
According to Dr Aubyn, in order to avoid unnecessary violent confrontation and possible loss of life, the government opted to negotiate the exit of these unauthorised operators on the mine.
A committee, he said, was subsequently constituted to oversee the relocation of the informal miners from the concession to the surrendered areas.
“In all more than 20 meetings and several field visits were made during the six-week period of the committees work. The committee met all the relevant stakeholders and engaged them to identify, assess and integrate all concerns for the collective interest of all,” he said.
The engagements, he said, also provided the informal miners the opportunity to formalise and work within the confines of the Minerals and Mining laws of Ghana and belong to cooperatives.
In 2016, a group of informal minders invaded the mine and have been working illegally till date on the concession of AGA amidst safety concerns which has resulted in numerous reported accidents and casualties underground.
AngloGold, however, agreed to cede about 60 per cent of its concession to government through the Minerals Commission, which it has done and has been prepared for the informal miners to enable them relocate and still have a place to mine.
“The information, gathered was that, these group of informal miners needed a place to mine. Whilst we do not approve of the invasion on a company’s legitimately acquired concession because a group needs a place to work, AGA agreed to cede and have indeed ceded about 60 per cent of their concession to government through the Minerals Commission. These surrendered grounds have been thoroughly investigated and found to be highly mineralised,” he said.
Source: radioxyzonline.com/With additional files from graphic