The Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners has called on the government to deal with illegal miners arrested for polluting water bodies.
Over the past few days, over 15 illegal miners including foreigners have been arrested in the Eastern Region.
The illegal miners, who are largely foreigners from Burkina Faso, Benin, and Ivory Coast, have infiltrated the communities, diverted the course of the Pra river, and are mining with mercury.
The miners had pitched camp and, on seeing the Minister’s team, run to hide in the bushes.
But the team managed to arrest five of them and burnt over 30 changfan machines at Oseikrom.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, who led the operation in a Citi News interview said, the group was stopped “because they don’t have a license to mine. It is in an illegal site. They must produce an EPA license before they start mining”.
In an effort to augment the government’s effort, the association’s taskforce embarked on a 2-day operation to fish out these illegal miners.
Speaking to the media after the arrest of some illegal miners at Atewa, the Communications Director of the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners, Abdul Razak Alhassan said the activities of the illegal miners continue to create a mess in the mining industry.
According to him, they will ensure that all illegal miners in the country are dealt with.
“There has been a whole lot of confusion and mistrust between us and the public who are doing legal businesses and these illegal guys are only disturbing and at any point in time, they are added to us and treated unfairly so we have taken it upon ourselves that we will not sit down and allow this to happen to us.”