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Illegal Miners Take Over Shanxii Mine

Shanxii Mining (Ghana) Company Limited has accused some unknown illegal miners of invading its concession and robbing it of its mineral ores.

Speaking during a visit by the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari to the area, Charles Ndanbon, concessionaire for Yenyeya mines, to whom Shanxii is providing technical support, said the ban on operations at the company is causing this problem.

According to him, people from outside the company create a pit that go to connect theirs and that is where such unscrupulous people pass to invade their (Shanxii) concessions.

The worried concessionaire said the activities of such people are likely to cause serious damage to the mines.

“They create the pits from outside our yard and dig down to connect to ours, and pass there to get to our concessions. They are blasting our rock underground rendering our supporting weak, which is dangerous because this can result in the collapse of our pit.

“We are worried and, therefore, want to appeal to you (regional minister) to use your good office to help us get back to work”, Ndanbon said.

In a presentation to enlighten the regional minister on the operations of the company, the Public Relations Officer at Shanxii, Maxwell Wooma pointed out that the company has met the legal requirements to operate and has since 2009 operated with a high sense of safety.

According to him, the company has employed about 543 workers who work in various areas in the company, which contributes to reducing unemployment in the area and its surrounding areas but has sent home 500 workers as a result of the halt in operations at the company.

He cited also the achievements and interventions chalked by the company since its inception as relocation of government school to a safer site at the cost of GHC190, 000 – a donation of 114 dual desks and four teacher tables to the government basic school at the mining site, sinking of ten boreholes in the area, donation of 70 computers to the RCC, Regional Hospital, Ghana Police Service, Talensi and Nabdam districts

“The high incidence of stealing by the surrounding illegal miners has significant impact on the volume of ore for processing.

“This is coupled with the danger it poses to them. The company has since developed stronger security measures to curtail the menace,” he also added.

Meanwhile, the regional minister assured the company of his readiness to assist with security to deal with the insecurity and illegal acts by outsiders.

According to him, the investment is such a huge one that cannot be allowed to suffer in the hands of bad people.

He also observed the need for the Minerals Commission to regulate the use of explosives by small scale miners.

He was hopeful that the issues surrounding the suspension of operations will be resolved for the company to resume operations though he could not promise this.

“I will be going to Accra on Monday, so I will join the Tongo Rana so that, together we will go to the Lands and Natural Resources minister and tell him the facts on the ground and we see what we can do.

“You are doing a legal job so you should have peace of mind to do your work, no one (illegal miners) should make things difficult for you”, he added.

From William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, Bolgatanga