The National Concerned Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana is asking the government to investigate the activities of its task force deployed to fight the illegal mining menace.
The government as part of efforts to end illegal mining activities (galamsey) launched the ‘Operation Halt’ task force, to flush out unlicensed miners said to have destroyed river bodies and forest reserves across the country.
But it appears the efforts are yielding little results as the concerned small scale miners allege that more than 50 excavators belonging to their members in the Ashanti Region have been unjustifiably set ablaze by these soldiers.
The Association in a statement, further accuses the uniform men of extorting monies from unsuspecting licensed miners.
“The association has incontrovertible evidence to prove that the soldiers deployed by the government are only interested in cashing in on the operation, charging a minimum of GHC 45,000 if a miner wants to have the peace of mind to do their work. The unjustifiable burning of excavators is only a face-saving strategy to cover up the extortion that the soldiers are perpetrating in the Ashanti region”, parts of the statement read.
The Association has thus called for an immediate intervention as their source of livelihoods is under threat.
“We are by this press release calling the attention of the Ministers for Lands and Natural Resources and Defence to the atrocities being visited on small scale miners in legal employment and demand the immediate abortion of the operation or we would be forced to employ every means possible to safeguard our investments”.
“In the mean time, we wish to also announce our plans to take government on to seek legal redress in the ongoing impasse of burning of excavators and the seizure of minerals belonging to small scale miners”, the Association hinted.
SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH