17 August 2012

Ghana: Government to Descend On Illegal Miners

The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, has urged illegal miners operating in the Region to end their activities or the security agencies would descend on them and flush them out.

He said the Regional Coordinating Council would no longer tolerate any form of activities which would degenerate into lawlessness and insecurity.

Mr. Aidoo said this on Thursday when he addressed representatives of Ghana Chamber of Mines, the Minerals Commission, Municipal Chief Executives, traditional rulers, and assembly members from Tarkwa and Obuasi at AngloGold Ashanti's first national Town Hall meeting held in Tarkwa.

He said the activities of illegal miners affected the livelihoods of mining communities because they do not pay taxes to the government or pay compensation for farm lands they destroy.

Mr Aidoo said illegal miners in the Region should regularize their activities by registering their businesses with the Minerals Commission.

He appealed to mining companies to use the appropriate channel to secure the assistance of security agencies in their effort to protect their concession to avoid confrontations.

The Managing Director of AGA Iduapriem Mine, Mr. Sicelo Ntuli, said the company produced 917, 40 ounces of gold for the first quarter, exceeding its target of 913,509 ounces.

He said AGA had contributed $54 million to the economy and had spent 400,000 Ghana cedis to give a face lift to the municipality.

He said the company had employed more than 9,000 people and had also invested over $682 million in the Obuasi and Iduapriem mines to bring them to world standards.

Mr. Ntuli said the company will continue to contribute towards socio- economic growth and development of Ghana with emphasis on the local communities.

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