The Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti has reacted to media reports alleging that some illegal miners have been trapped underground in the mining shafts at Obuasi.
According to a statement released by the firm, the illegal miners who entered the mine through unauthorized routes can exit via the existing ramp, through the main access to the mining area.
The statement release, which was dated May 30, 2023, noted that seven of these illegal miners have been arrested and are currently in the custody of the police.
“AngloGold Ashanti Ghana’s Obuasi Mine is aware of media reports alleging that illegal miners may have been trapped underground in the northern areas of the mine, remote from current active mining areas,’’ the statement sighted by 1Family Radio indicated.
“Unauthorized persons underground are able to exit on foot, via the existing ramp, through the main access of this mining area. No person underground has been confined in any way, and the main exit ramp from the mine remains open.’’
‘’Obuasi Gold Mine’s management team has notified the relevant authorities and public security services and is working closely with them. Yesterday, seven illegal miners exited through this main access point on foot and are now in the custody of the Ghana Police Service. Any unauthorized person underground is encouraged to leave the mine at any time by the exit points where public security personnel remain on standby.’’
“Intrusion of illegal miners into underground areas remains a significantly dangerous activity, and AngloGold Ashanti Ghana is working alongside authorities to ensure that only authorized mine personnel and contractors can access underground work areas,’’ the management said.
“The safety and security of our employees and community members remain our top priority, and AngloGold Ashanti Ghana stands ready to provide any assistance required by the authorities in ensuring the safe exit of any unauthorized persons underground,’’ the statement added.