Obuasi: 30 illegal miners reportedly trapped in a pit

Source The Ghana Report

About 30 people believed to be illegal miners have reportedly been trapped in an AngloGold Ashanti(AGA) mining pit in Obuasi.

The illegal miners or ‘galamseyers’ are said to have sneaked into the company’s abandoned pit called Cote d’Ivoire at Anwiam, a suburb of Obuasi, to prospect for gold.

Their relatives raised an alarm on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, after noticing their absence for some days.

Confirming the information, the Assembly Member for the Ahansonyewodea Electoral Area, Vincent Donkor, said that some relatives of the victims prompted him on Tuesday that some people had gone missing for five days after leaving in search of gold.

Mr Donkor said he reported the issue to the Security Office of AGA, who asked that the matter be formally reported to the police.

He added that the security personnel of the AGA have confirmed that they have received a signal from the trapped ‘galamseyers’ saying they are afraid they will be arrested if they come out of the pit.

As of Wednesday morning, they were still trapped, and family members feared that they could lose their lives if they were not rescued as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Okyerekrom, Nana Amoako Gyampah, has blamed AGA for leaving the pit uncovered.

“The company had neglected the pit about 12 years ago. I wrote a petition to AngloGold in 2020 to remind them that my community and I do not understand the reason why they have neglected it because there is a pit under my area, so they have to come and reclaim the land (because) we needed the land for our local farming activities.”

“In 2022, I wrote another one still to no avail, then I had to call the press and explain certain things within our own community to them,” he told JoyNews.

But the Senior Sustainability Manager for AngloGold Ashanti, Emmanuel Baidoo, says the concession still belongs to the company and blames the locals for trespassing.

“It is not a piece of land that has been relinquished to the community, it is within our concession, and it means we still have an interest in it…there could be a possibility of us going to re-mine because the ore belongs to the state and we have to ensure that it is mined and there could also be a possibility that it is part of our reclamation programme .”

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