Illegal small-scale miners on Thursday allegedly torched some properties belonging to the Golden Star Wassa Mine at Benso in the Western Region.
This was disclosed by the Head of Group Corporate Affairs of the company, Gerard Hillary Osei Boakye, on Eyewitness News on Friday.
According to Mr. Osei Boakye, the illegal miners amongst other properties set 12 vehicles ablaze including excavators, ambulances and pick-ups forcing the staff of the company to run for their lives.
Speaking on the Eyewitness News with Umaru Sanda Amadu, Mr. Boakye narrated that in an attempt by the police to ward off the illegal miners from invading a concession belonging to the company at Benso, some of them sustained injuries.
He explained that the irate illegal miners regrouped and returned to the concession later in the evening where they attacked workers at post, vandalised and torched some of their properties.
“We usually do our patrols to protect our concession which is required of us by law to be responsible for our boundaries and also prevent incursions, to make sure that community people, hunters, and farms are safe. On one such occasion which was Thursday, March 16, we encountered some illegal miners encroaching, we engaged them as part of our modus operandi and told them to move away”.
“They were interested in that area, so they came back and when they came back, we tried to ward them off with the help of the police. They dispersed again and apparently unconfirmed report reaching us is that they may have been injured in the cause of being dispersed. That probably infuriated them, and they came back torch our vehicles and ran our security post down, destroyed our offices, basically burnt things down,” he explained.
Enumerating some of the properties torched by the illegal miners, he mentioned, “as many as 12 vehicles including an ambulance, pickups, excavators, buildings, offices, air-conditioned, our security post”.
Mr. Osei Boakye assured that calm has been restored at the area adding that the police have started their investigations to fish out the perpetrators.
The Head of Group Corporate Affairs at the mining company said some of the company’s security men who were injured have been treated and discharged from the hospital.
“The police called in for reinforcement from Tarkwa, and they have been there since Thursday night to provide security, they have started their investigations, calm has been restored, and our security men who were injured have been treated and discharged,” he emphasised.