24,000 acres of forest reserve at Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region has been devirginized by illegal Chinese miners.
A task force found the illegal miners at the Aminase Forest Range Reserve arresting the twelve Chinese nationals and their one Ghanaian counterpart on site as well as retrieving 24 excavating machinery located.
The activities of these miners and other illegal ones is depleting the forest reserve but thanks to surveillance and deployed drones, their nefarious activities became bare.
Despite government’s ban on illegal small-scale mining and destruction to the Aminase Forest Range Reserve, the Tonton Forest Reserve also in the Upper Denkyira District of the Central Region, stretching to the Western Region has also been assaulted by the Chinese ‘galamseyers.’
Chiefs and people say they wake only to see trucks and excavators moving into to the reserve with reports rife Upper Denkyira West District indigenes, state officials and politicians are complicit in the illegal mining activities (galamsey) of the Chinese violators.
It emerged Canada and Ghana (C&G) Alaska Mining Company although has prospective mining license to prospect for gold, their wanton destruction was irresponsible and unacceptable.
Head in-charge of Government Inter-ministerial Task-force Against Galamsey, Mr. Francis Asibi-Abu was stunned at the destruction assuring together with national security; both local and foreign illegal gold miners would be prepared for prosecution.
According to Mr. Asibi-Abu, reports suggest Alaska Mining Company had operated in the reserve for seven years without a designated license except for prospecting one.
A tour of the Aminase Forest Reserve on Saturday, February 16, 2019 by the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining and Small Scale Miners Association task-force showed uprooted timber, razed down trees, polluted water bodies and uncovered pits. He said the arrested Chinese nationals have been handed over to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for action.
Government would now have to reclaim the destroyed and abandoned lands while educating the locals to avoid moving unto the exposed lands over health concerns. The task-force also demolished wooden structures erected by these Chinese ‘galamseyers’ in the forest which served as their accommodation quarters.
State regulatory institutions such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Forest Commission of Ghana, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Ghana Minerals Commission have all come under scrutiny for failing to pick surveillance on Alaska Mining’s destructive practice till the forest reserve had gravely been injured throwing the ecosystem of the place in disarray while harming precious timber species and causing potential financial loss.