Owners of Illegal mining pits in Gbane in the Upper East region have vowed to resist the directive from Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Peter Amewu to end their operations.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister upon his visit to the Upper East region directed that some three pits be closed down on the request of Shaanxi Mining (Ghana) Company because owners of the pit used it as an entry point into their concession.
But spokesperson for owners of the affected pits, John Yaro who spoke to A1 Radio says the Minister has no proof that those pits are illegal.
He said “The minister ordered that, all licensed miners must cease work of which all those who are licensed stopped. So that was the respect that was given to the minister. So now, if the minister has come to identify illegal pits, then he should have also known where those illegal pits are because the order was that, whether you have license or no license, we must all stop work so it happened. Now you have come and you have come into only one Chinese zone and another one large scale miner and you are telling them that you have given an order to the minister [regional minister] and others [regional police commander] to go and close pits. How do you determine this pit is an illegal? Have you asked all the illegal miners to show their license so that?”.
He disclosed that owners of the affected pits intend to petition the Minister to set up a committee to investigate the illegal pits in the area.
“And I am saying one thing. I don’t even know why the Chinese to allowed to be seen as legal miners. One, they are support services group to support two concessionaires. Now, these two concessionaires have only fifty acres. I am telling you that on aggregate, they have already mined over two hundred acres and you call them legal miners? You say they are employing 600 people?”