The death toll among illegal miners who have taken over AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine continues to increase, the Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Eric Asubonteng has said.
According to him, some 64 illegal miners have so far lost their lives since the first incursions in early February 2016.
Speaking to Citi Business, Mr. Asubonteng called on government to assist in upholding the law and return safety and security to the other remaining parts of the mine.
“So far we have reported about 64 fatalities which have resulted in the death of those illegal miners. We have reported the case to the right authorities including the inspectorate division of the minerals commission and to the local Police,” he said.
Mr. Asubonteng feared the death toll may be more than reported since the current number is what has reached the company.
“You know the underground infrastructure has suffered and with each single day that law and order is not restored it is dangerous for even the health of the illegal miners.”
Mr. Asubonteng bemoaned the activities of illegal miners, describing it as dangerous to themselves and the ore body.
“Let me say that the death of any person is not something that must be allowed this way. We think that whatever must be done to prevent any kind of death must be done to save lives and properties.”
Government recently deployed security forces to remove illegal miners operating in the Sansu Lizard Face and Wawase areas of the mine, stopping them from making further incursions into the underground area.
Government flushes out illegal miners
Government announced recently that it is engaging and employing all legitimate tactics to flush out illegal miners occupying AngloGold Obuasi mine.
According to the commission, government and its allied agencies were only weighing all options available to it to ensure that life and properties are protected during the process.
Illegal miners invade AA mine
In February this year, hundreds of illegal miners invaded the fenced area of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obausi mine which led to the death of a senior management staff, John Owusu.
At the time, Mr. Asubonteng stated that, with each passing day that law and order is not restored the company’s ore body gets damaged.
By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana