Officials of Ekomyeya Cooperative Small Scale Mining Centre (ECSSMC) at Donkoto-Lineso, near Bibiani in the Western Region, have debunked reports that Chinese illegal miners have taken over the town.
Chairman of the Cooperative, Adu Gyamfi said the claims, which were contained in a newspaper publication, are not only outlandish and malicious but completely unacceptable to the people of the area, particularly members of ECSSMC.
The July 14, 2018 edition of the New Crusading Guide newspaper carried out a publication that some Chinese illegal miners had raided Bibiani in search of gold in violation of the ban on all forms of small-scale mining in the country.
The publication alleged that the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, Alfred Amoah, and the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, were in connivance with the illegal miners, popularly known as ‘galamseyers.’
“We want to express our utmost anger and the strongest condemnation over such an act. This is only seeking to tarnish the image of our MCE and MP, as well as the good people of the area,” Mr Adu Gyamfi stated.
He wondered why some people could make such assertions without evidence, explaining that the executives of the cooperative previously approached the two government officials to use their offices to woo the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, to tour their concession and assess the safety of shafts and the general operation.
On Saturday, June 30 2018, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, who doubles as the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining operations, honoured the invitation from the MCE and the MP to acquaint himself with developments in the Municipality,” he indicated.
Mr. Adu Gyamfi pointed out that there has not been any mining in the area since the ban was imposed on small-scale mining by government.
“We have licence and operate legally. At no point did we engage Chinese here so we were surprised to read that some Chinese have raided our concession,” he said.
“With the government’s hint of lifting the ban on small-scale mining, I was encouraged to participate in a programme organized by the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) on mining to enhance my knowledge in the industry,” he asserted.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi