A magistrate court in Bolga has reserved the plea of the eight illegal miners arrested for allegedly stealing gold ore from a Chinese mining firm in the Upper East Region.
The decision was reached by the magistrate after the eight, who were arraigned Monday on charges of conspiracy, unlawful entry and stealing, said they did not have lawyers to defend them in the case.
They were said to have used unapproved routes last Saturday to gain entry to the Shaanzi mine which has since January 23, been shut down over 16 deaths caused by explosions.
Their charges and brief facts of the case to the accused persons but when asked by the magistrate, Mr. Hakeem Osman, whether they have legal representation in the case, they answered in the negative, our correspondent Tanko Mohammed Rabiu reported.
They were thus remanded into police custody as the case was adjourned to February 26 to allow them some time to acquire a lawyer.
Police prosecutors told the court that the private security for the mining firm were on patrol duties when they met the accused persons at about 4:45pm at level 2 of the mine’s shaft 2.
They arrested the eight persons, three of who the prosecution said had mini sacks containing suspected gold bearing rocks belonging to the Shaanxi mining company.
They were handed over to the Police and investigations revealed the accused passed through some mining pits within the community to be able to enter the concession of the Shaanxi mining company.
According to the prosecution, all the eight accused persons admitted the offence during interrogation.
The minerals commission on January 23 ordered Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited to temporarily cease operation following the death of 16 illegal miners at Gbane in the Talensi district.
An explosion on January 23 left 16 illegal miners dead and several others injured. They were said to have ignored a warning to stop prospecting for gold as Shaanxi was said to have planned to blast their concession with explosives.