Its emerged 16 small-scale miners have perished in the Upper East when miners seeking for gold on a concession reportedly owned by Yenyeya Company suffered from a blast and lost their lives.
The Bolgatanga Medical Director, Patrick Attobrah at the Upper East Regional Hospital noted the autopsy revealed “some died by bleeding through their lungs and heads” adding “some showed signs of suffering head injuries.” Other reports claim the miners inhaled toxic gases from the blast while underground in a mining tunnel,
Twelve others are on admission and according to Dr. Attobrah are responding to treatment. Meanwhile the deceased have been released to their families.
The disaster occurred in the early hours of Wednesday at Gbane, a community in the eastern area of the Talensi District.
According to a member of the inter-ministerial committee on mining, his source submitted Shaanxi, a Chinese company only provides mining service support and rather it’s Yenyeya Company which owns the concession the blast occurred on were reportedly illegal miners had encroached and in their unsanctioned mining suffered the blast leading to the deaths.
Shaanxi Mining Company has been directed by the Minerals Commission to shut down its operation following the deaths in Gbane.
Since the incident, the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has met to deliberate and offer guidelines as to how mining in the areas can be policed.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has been to Talensi to assess the situation.
Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, Tongoraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang had earlier cautioned chiefs and landowners (Tindaanas) within the traditional area, not to lease out lands for mining activity without the approval of the Talensi traditional council but that call appears went unheeded.
The Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency have come under attack for failing to fight illegal mining also known as ‘galamsey’ in the area with the same urgency it applied in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions.
Shaanxi Mining Ghana Ltd has also denied responsibility for the deaths submitting the illegal small scale miners have been source of worry for them stating the dead are not staff of the company.
By Michael Eli Dokosi/goldstreetbusiness.com