Business News of 2014-08-12

Amansie Central battles effects of mining

More than 20 people have lost their lives in abandoned illegal gold mining pits in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region from 2008 to date.
May this year recorded the highest number of deaths of five persons, including a one-year-old baby.
The indiscriminate citing of the pits along walkways in towns and farming areas in the district is hindering the movement of people in the area.
To arrest the situation, the Amansie Central District Chief Executive, Mr Emmanuel Dede Appiah, says the DISEC is holding a meeting with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the police, to discuss how to stop all mining activities, both legal and illegal.
Mr Appiah explained that the time lapse would allow time to establish an effective mechanism to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of documents presented by miners.
That, he said, had become necessary because of doubtful mining certificates produced by some small-scale miners.
Mr Appiah, who described his district as the worse hit by illegal mining activities in the Ashanti Region, said a dialogue had also been scheduled with the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chiefs, land owners and miners to find a way of filling the open pits.
His worry is that because the excavators that dig the pits are huge and work mostly 24 hours, the district assembly faces a huge challenge filling the pits, particularly because of their numbers and sizes.
Regional Minister
In June, this year, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, appalled and incensed by the large scale destruction of farming lands, deep pits filled with heavily polluted water and the blockage of River Offin by galamsey operators, called for a halt to small-scale mining in the region.
He gave a two-week moratorium for all licensed small-scale mining groups to submit their documents to the Ashanti Regional Security Council for scrutiny.
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