The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has reiterated the government’s commitment to protecting Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine from any illegal attack.
He has been engaging traditional leaders, authorities of AngloGold Ashanti and small-scale miners in the Obuasi Municipality after some miners allegedly invaded an underground mine of Anglogold.
The minister is seeking to resolve the hostilities between the community and the mine.
Last week, some unauthorized miners allegedly invaded a remote area of Anglogold Ashanti’s underground mine.
The illegal miners however, claimed they were trapped, leading to protests in the Obuasi town.
Samuel Abu Jinapor has had a meeting with stakeholders to help improve relations between the Obuasi community and mine operators.
According to him, the government is willing to strictly enforce the mining laws to protect the mining concession.
He says persons invading the mine without authorisation will be arrested and prosecuted.
“We are very determined to protect this mine. I should say it forcefully that it is governments policy to protect AngloGold Ashanti’s concession and therefore the mining laws will be enforced strictly. Persons are not allowed to attack AngloGold Ashanti but if they do, they will be arrested and prosecuted”, he said.
The minister noted the government’s willingness to liaise with AngloGold Ashanti and the Obuasi community to offer responsible mining job opportunities as a means of employment for the youth.
He however says the lack of employment cannot be a justification for illegally attacking the concession of AngloGold Ashanti.
“Government recognises that we have to find alternative means of employment and livelihoods for the youth of Obuasi. We are engaging AngloGold and stakeholders to do just that. Including responsible community mining. But lack of employment cannot be a justification for attacking the concession of AngloGold Ashanti”, he noted.