The Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem in the Western Region, George Mireku Duker, has condemned attacks on mining companies, particularly the one on the Benso Lease of Golden Star Resources, Wassa Mine, in his region by illegal miners.
In a statement released by the legislator yesterday, he stressed that mining is a key backbone of the economy and with a surge in company-community conflicts, it will have the tendency to dampen investor confidence in Ghana’s mining industry.
According to him, such uncultured behaviour must be discouraged at all levels.
“The unfortunate attacks which stemmed out as a result of misunderstanding between security officials of the company and some illegal miners led to the destruction of over 30 vehicles and lots of other valuable assets of the Mine resulting to a total breakdown of the entire operations of the Mine,” the statement added.
The MP, who is also the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of mines, said the situation had negatively impacted on the general life of the people of Subriso and its environs.
Pursuant to this, he said the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Minerals Commission, Ghana Chamber of Mines and the Security Agencies will dispassionately investigate this preposterous incident to ensure that, perpetrators are made to face the full rigors of the law.
The lawmaker further urged Nananom and key actors of the respective communities to collaborate closely with the government for a better working environment in the mining sector.
Golden Star Wassa Limited (GSWL) confirmed an attack on its employees and offices at Benso by a group of armed illegal miners in the Western Region on March 16, 2023.
The armed men set ablaze vehicles, including an ambulance that served both the community and employees of the company, aside 12 other cars and the mining company’s administrative block.
A statement issued and signed by Gerard Boakye, Group Corporate Affairs Manager of Golden Star Wassa Limited, said some of the company’s employees sustained injuries because of the attack.
It also explained how a peaceful exercise by security officers of GSWL to drive off illegal miners who had encroached on one of GSWL’s mining pits at Benso turned into something else.
“The illegal miners left the area after initially being asked to, only to remobilise and come back to clash with security personnel of GSWL. Our employees at the scene were immediately evacuated to safety, and those injured were given medical attention and discharged,” the statement said.
The statement added that a formal complaint had been made to the security agencies and other stakeholders duly briefed on the situation.
Meanwhile, reports from the Western Regional Police Command said 33 people were arrested in connection with the attack on Golden Star Wassa Mine.
The attack, the police said, resulted in the death of one person and injuries to four others. All the 33 suspects are in Police custody assisting in investigation