Illegal Chinese Miners Resume Operations In Parts Of Ashanti

A large number of Chinese illegal miners have returned to parts of the Ashanti Region after a fruitless attempt by the national security to flush them out. The areas besieged include parts of Nweneso No 2 in the Atwima Kwanwoma District and Nsiena in the Amansie West District (especially where AngloGold Ashanti Ghana operates). During a visit by to Nweneso No 1 on Christmas Day, the Presiding Member of the Atwima Kwanwoma District Assembly, Mr K. A. Yeboah-Asare, said River Nwene, the main source of drinking water for the entire Nweneso area, had been polluted through the galamsey activities. He said it was difficult to give a correct number of the Chinese illegal miners as they were operating at many sites. "The health of our people is at serious risk. What is happening is disgusting and it appears as a nation, we have lost the fight against the Chinese galamsey operators," he lamented. The Public Affairs Manager of AngloGold Ashanti, Mr John Owusu, also said the Chinese were busily working in the company�s concessions. �It is clear that the fight to get these people out of our area is far from won and something seriously needs to be done about it,� he said. Following agitations from concerned people in the affected communities about the destructive nature of the galamsey activities, the national security came in and made some arrests. In one of the major swoops, 34 Chinese illegal miners were arrested in AngloGold Ashanti concessions. The suspects, who were said to have infringed on Ghanaian laws were taken to Accra for further interrogation. Surprisingly, the mining activities in the villages where they were arrested (including Amamom, Akatakyereso, Abadwom and Nyankyerenekrom) had resurfaced with the Chinese in the centre of operations. At Nsiena, where an upheaval arose with the community members rising up against the Chinese, nine of the foreigners were arrested and sent to Accra for further interrogation by the police. Even though the illegal mining activities ceased for some time, the Chinese returned later and are now busily operating in other areas including Manso Keniago. In the affected communities, large tracts of farmlands have been taken over by the Chinese illegal miners. �They wield guns and would fire at anyone who dares to confront them to stop mining,� Mr Yeboah-Asare told