Chinese miners defy military; engage in alluvial mining

chinese-minersThe entire community of Apremdu, led by their Chief, Nana Egya Kwamina VI, on Sunday, mustered courage to confront Chinese illegal miners who had mounted their equipment on the Whin River, and were engaging in alluvial mining activities right under the noses of Apramdo soldiers.

The decision came after the Chinese miners had defied orders from the community to stop the alluvial mining. It still remains a mystery who the opinion leader in the Apremdu community is who reportedly gave the Chinese illegal miners the goahead to mine in the river, which is a few metres away from the popular Kwesimintsim suburb of Takoradi.

The Assembly Member for the area, Mr. Gorge Yankey, told this reporter in a telephone interview that the illegal miners had mentioned the names of opinion leaders alleged to have leased out the land to them. The Assembly Member would, however, not tell this reporter their names, only to say they had forwarded the names to the Regional Police Command for investigations.

The Chinese miners are believed to be extracting alluvial gold from the river.

Information available to this paper indicates that the Chief of Apremdo, on Sunday, held a meeting with his elders and opinion leaders of the area, as to how to deal with the galamsey menace, as the Chinese had defied warnings and advice to desert the river.

At the meeting, it was agreed that the community members should mobilise themselves to flush out the Chinese galamsey operators from the site of the river where they were undertaking the illegal mining activities. Led by Nana Egya Kwamina, the community confronted the galamsey operators, dismantled and seized their equipment.

Among the equipment seized were generators, pipeline tubes, and gallons among others. The community then marched the arrested galamsey operators, including their dismantled equipment to the Kwesimintsim Police Command. Interestingly, the police granted the suspects bail to the annoyance of the community members, who are suspecting foul play.

The Kwesimintsim Police Command has kept mute over the issue. Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this story, the Chief and elders of the community, including the Assembly Member, were locked up in a meeting with the Regional Police Command over the issue.

Assembly Member Yankey, who confirmed the story, added that the meeting solely centered on illegal mining in the Whin River. In a related development, thirty five illegal miners are believed to have been trapped in a mining pit at Bonsawire near Asuaso in Tarkwa Nsuam Municipality.

The incident occurred around 4:30 am on Monday, and is reported to have brought activities at the pit to a standstill. Two people, according to information, have so far been rescued by the local folks, with the remaining number still believed to be trapped underground.

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