Illegal miners burn vehicles of Golden Star Wassa Mine

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Illegal miners at Benso in the Western Region took matters to a different level and turned vandals when they set 12 vehicles belonging to Golden Star Wassa Mine ablaze.

The incident which occurred has reportedly resulted in the death of one person while four others have been injured.

Speaking on Citi Eyewitness News on Friday, March 17, 2023, the Head of Corporate Affairs of Golden Star Wassa Mine, Gerald Henry Osei Boakye said the illegal miners’ mayhem included the destruction of ambulances, pick-ups, buildings and excavators.

He said, the company as part of its mandate to protect its concession and ensure the safety of the people and farms in the area was going on patrols as usual. They encountered illegal miners encroaching on their concession and when they approached them to ask them to move out, that is how everything went bad.

“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,” he told Umaru Sanda.

According to Mr Osei Boakye, the illegal miners left but because they were interested in that area, they returned. That was when the company implored the support of the police to drive them out. Some of them allegedly got injured which infuriated them to come back later and torch the company’s properties.

“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…they came back torched our vehicles and ran our security post down. Destroyed our offices….basically burnt things down,” he revealed.

Mr Osei Boakye, however, revealed that calm has been restored and the police are also on the ground to provide security. He added that investigations have also been launched into the incident meanwhile the company’s injured staff have been treated and discharged.

“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.”

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