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12 October 2016

Illegal miners begin to abandon Obuasi mine

galamseyThe Minerals Commission is hopeful illegal miners occupying Anglogold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine, will comply with its directive for them to relocate to a new mining site by close of day, October 11, 2016.

The Commission, in its latest order, instructed that the informal miners leave the Obuasi concession of the mining company, by close of Monday, October 10, 2016.

According to the Comission, it could not guarantee the safety of the illegal miners over their continuous stay at the site, hence the directive.

The presence of the illegal miners has resulted in many altercations including the death of one of Anglogold Ashanti’s Senior Manager, John Owusu.

However the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Toni Aubynn explains to Citi Business News he is hopeful the informal miners will reduce significantly as compliance has so far been encouraging.

“We have negotiated with them, created a space for them and we have found a place for them so I don’t know what else government should do for a group like that and I hope they will reciprocate that by moving to safer place. We gave a deadline of Monday so I hope by Tuesday, we should have seen some significant movement,” he stated.

Dr. Aubynn added, “If not all of them we would have seen some trend that is possible. The feedback I’m getting is positive. I’m hoping that by tomorrow we would have seen some positive outcomes.”

In February this year, hundreds of illegal miners invaded the fenced area of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine.

AngloGold Ashanti has also filed a complaint at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes anticipating that proceedings will expedite the reinstatement of law and order at the mine.

AngloGold Ashanti Ghana had to suspend its underground mining operations at the Obuasi Mine at the end of 2014 after incurring heavy financial losses over several years.

Hundreds of the mining company’s employees were laid off and paid severance packages as mandated by law and in accordance with relevant Collective Agreements and Employment Contracts.

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