– 40 Excavators burnt
Government has vowed not to bring an end to the war against illegal mining popularly known as Galamsey.
According to him, during the third phase of the operation, River Offin, River Oda and River Birim, were covered.
In a day, he said the military were pulling out about 700 excavators from the forests.
Most of the people engaged in the illegal mining activities are not ordinary Ghanaians but rather rich men sitting in Accra and London, he noted.
He said some excavators were being hired for about Ghc 6,000 or Ghc 7,000 each.
The minister made this known while giving an update on phase three of Operation Halt II.
According to him, during the third phase of the Operation, 40 excavators all working within the Birim River were burnt.
He stated that 228 Chanfangs, 87 water pumping machines, 76 wooden structures; one container; seven generators; motorbikes, hunter guns, were burnt.
In the Eastern Region, he said the miners were carrying out illegality with “impunity.”
He said illegal miners in the Eastern Region refused to take out their equipment from sites despite hearing about the operations of the military.
He stated that River Birim has been virtually destroyed.
According to him, aerial inspections revealed that there are serious destructions to river bodies and environment in the mining communities.
Some of the illegal miners , he said, have resorted to mining in the night.
“Some big companies are doing the wrong thing,” he bemoaned.
The impact of Operation Halt II has been huge, he said.
The Minister added that one Chinese was arrested during the four-day operation.