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Task force is abusing legitimate miners - Akuoko
Posted on: 11-Jun-2013         Source: GNA
Mr. Edward Kwasi Akuoko, Public Relations Officer for HANSOL mining company has said that the Inter –Ministerial task force established to check the activities of illegal miners, is unjustifiably abusing legitimate Small Scale Miners.

Mr. Akuoko who made the statement at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, indicated that the mandate given to the task force by President John Dramani Mahama required that they arrest illegal miners and seize their equipment and not to attack legitimate miners.

According to him, the press conference which was organised by HANSOL miners, was aimed at stating their position on recent activities of the Inter –Ministerial task force and their mode of operation which was affecting legitimate miners in the sector.

“By this press conference we also intend to gain the attention of the President on this matter because we know he believes in the rule of law and justice for all,” Mr Akuoko added.

“The attacks on our operations include physical assault and manhandling of both Ghanaian and Chinese staff, destruction of some properties, stealing and looting of our processed gold and cash in both local and foreign currencies”, he alleged.

He said the task force had refused to heed to the numerous appeals and concerns raised by major stakeholders in the industry such as the Small Scale Miners Association and the Artisanal Mining Africa Network (AMAN), among others.

He said that HANSOL was a legitimate company that undertook mostly mining support services, and that abuses and attacks on their operations and staff by the task force was unwarranted and unjustified.

“A petition to that effect was subsequently sent to government through the attorney generals department and copied to other relevant Ministries by our solicitors, but to no avail.”

Mr. Akuoko said that if the trend was not halted it had the potential to cripple most of the legitimate small scale mining companies which had been certified by government through State regulating agencies.

He appealed to President John Dramani Mahama to intervene and halt the unwarranted attacks on legitimate indigenous Ghanaian companies such as HANSOL.