Chinese illegal miners arm locals to protect galamsey operations

One of the locals [L] armed by the Chinese to protect their galamsey concession[/caption]Chinese illegal miners have teamed up with locals at Nyadeyeya, a farming community in the Amansie West District of Ashanti to illegally mine large tracts of farmlands. The Chinese have armed the locals who they employ, with guns and ammunitions to counter any attempt prevent their operations which is having a negative toll on farmlands and water bodies. Instigations by TV3 have revealed the indigenes have been fronting for these Chinese miners. The locals after securing the reconnaissance license, which only grants them the right to explore the site, lease out concessions to the Chinese to mine without the proper licences.galamsey-machines“We do not have the money to buy the machines, so they [the Chinese] employ us to work for them,” said Yaw Mensah who coordinates activities at one of the Chinese-owned mining sites. Like the Chinese, the local miners are apprehensive of attempts to halt the illegal operations. “Please have you come here to deprive us of our daily bread?” a local miner questioned TV3’s crew at one of the sites at Nyadeyeya. Illegal mining is rife in the Amansie West District, and is negatively affecting vegetation and lives. [caption id="attachment_38317" align="aligncenter" width="564"]One of the Chinese bolted upon seeing TV3 camera crew One of the Chinese bolted upon seeing TV3 camera crew[/caption] Two months ago a child fell into one of the uncovered pits and died instantly. Incidents like this are often kept away from the public eye. Four years ago, a group of Chinese miners operating at Nsiana in the same district clashed with some youth in the area over the huge destruction of arable lands and water bodies. The issue attracted media and diplomatic concerns, prompting the Chinese government to send a high-powered delegation to help resolve the issue. As part of the resolution, Chinese with no proper documentation to stay in the country were asked to leave, whilst those with permits to work in Ghana were directed to desist from small-scale mining activities. Small-scale mining is a preserve for Ghanaians, but the Chinese have taken over concessions in the Amansie West enclave. [caption id="attachment_38319" align="aligncenter" width="564"]The MP elect is promising to deal with the menace in the area The MP elect is promising to deal with the menace in the area[/caption] Member of Parliament elect for the area, Joseph Albert Quarm, is appalled at the development, describing mining in the area as a cartel bloc. “These local people after securing the reconnaissance license which only allows them to explore the site, end up leasing out concessions to these Chinese to mine, and they do that with some chiefs,” he observed said. Mr. Quarm is determined to fight galamsey and ensure small-scale mining is regulated for the local people. “I have sent a proposal to Nana Addo to study. We want to regulate small scale mining and we will ensure that only the local people mine,” he stated.

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By William Evans-Nkum|TV3||Ghana]]>