Ashanti Region Records Drop In Galamsey Operations

Ashanti Region Records Drop In Galamsey Operations

Illegal mining activities in the Ashanti Region have reduced following the introduction of Operation Vanguard. This is according to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah.

Addressing regional heads of department and agencies, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, during a Regional Coordinating Council meeting, Simon Osei Mensah said “since the introduction of Operation Vanguard, there has been a sharp drop in illegal mining in the region.”

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War Against ‘Galamsey’ Topmost Priority Of Government – Amewu


Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, says war against illegal mining remains the topmost priority of the Government and that it would ensure that the practice becomes unattractive.

“Not only will we end this trade but to make sure that it becomes unattractive for someone to venture in,” he told the Energy Media Group who called on him to present copies of their quarterly magazine to the Ministry.

Activities of the unlawful mineral extraction has led to wanton destruction of farmlands and water bodies, sparking ongoing media campaign in Ghana to pressure government to end the canker.

Some chiefs and influential political figures were cited last week in a Bureau of National Investigations report for perpetuating the illegal trade which experts say involves over five million people.

“The galamsey thing we are talking about is here, it’s not a joke at all, and must be tackled with all seriousness,” Mr Amewu said.

“Must we sit here and fold our arms and watch these few people to destroy our water bodies for us?
“No way, and we are committed to ending this menace within the shortest possible time and it is the topmost priority for this government,” he said.

He expressed happiness that the magazine had dedicated a column for mining related issues to champion the happenings within the sector.

Mr Henry Teinor, the Chief Executive Officer of Energy Media Group, told the Minister about activities of the upcoming Ghana Energy Awards which is planned for December.

“We are also, by this visit, pledging our support to help you succeed,” he said.

The Minister subscribed to the 60-page magazine that features a wide range of topics on energy matters in Ghana’s oil sector and around the world.


Source: Peace Fm


Chinese Galamsey Kingpin Busted

By: Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi

Aisha Huang 


AISHA  HUANG, the 31-year-old Chinese woman suspected to be one of Ghana’s most notorious illegal miners, is again in the grips of the security service for allegedly flouting mining laws with impunity when she was left off the hook in August last year after a similar arrest.

Aisha Huang, who has acquired local names – Aisha and Yaa Asantewaa – was freed and her excavators that were seized by operatives of the National Security released following an order by the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) after a reported inconclusive investigation into her alleged illegal activities.

The re-arrest of the woman last Saturday came shortly after the arrest of four other Chinese nationals who confessed working as illegal miners at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region for Aisha Huang.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) said Aisha was the kingpin of a Chinese galamsey gang, with other members being Gao Jin Cheng 45, Lu Qi Jun 39, Haibin Gao 26 and Zhang Zhi Peng 23.

Ashanti Regional Deputy Commander of GIS, Chief Superitendent Peter Adu-Appiah, disclosed that the Chinese immigrant and her cohorts had since been sent to the national headquarters in Accra for further investigation.

According to him, it took officers of the Service more than four hours to get the lady arrested as she let loose her wild dogs on them, in an effort   to resist arrest.

Aisha Huang was finally nabbed when she went to the GIS regional office to plead for the release of the four Chinese illegal miners, even though she was being sought after without her knowledge.

Even after the deadline for galamsey operators to fold up had expired, Aisha and her gang were not ready to abandon the lucrative gold business before her arrest on Saturday.

It has emerged that Aisha is perceived as untouchable because she is holding secrete sexual video tapes of some power brokers in the security services and some politicians which she is using for blackmailing. Veteran journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, who made the revelation on Joy FM’s ‘News File’ programme last Saturday, claimed three women were involved in the supposed sex tape.

According to him, the Chinese women had built a network of influence in high places in the country which they rely on for protection whilst engaging in galamsey activities.

The Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service, Kwame Takyi, explained yesterday that following the revelations made by Kweku Baako, his men moved in to effect Aisha’s arrest after receiving authorisation from the Interior Minister.

He said the galamsey suspects had been brought to Accra and assisting in investigations.

Previous Arrest
Some national security operatives, on July 30, 2016, raided various gold mining sites to impound excavators and a pickup vehicle belonging to the Chinese woman that were being used for the illegal mining operation.

She and her assigns had degraded lands, destroyed cocoa farms and polluted water bodies in several communities in the Amansie area, and the national security, in an attempt to clamp down on her activities, raided the sites.

At Gyaaman village, the activities of the Chinese galamsey operator allegedly left six children dead after the victims drowned in open pits.

However, the Ashanti Regional Security Council, then headed by John Alexander Ackon found it expedient to release the four excavators and the Toyota pickup to the galamsey miner to the chagrin of the local residents and owners of the mining concessions, Volta Resources Limited.

Minister’s Explanation
The action followed a decision arrived at by members of the Security Council “to correct and streamline” what they considered to be a breach of “orthodox way and acceptably recognized rules of the REGSEC in relation to anti-galamsey operations.”

Even though the region’s former security liaison officer in the person of Enoch Amoako Nsiah authorised the seizure of the excavators, the minister returned them to Aisha.

The former minister explained that the Security Council in an attempt to establish leads, found it necessary to release the excavators to the owners in order to conduct proper investigation towards the clamp-down of the illegal mining activities in the region.

On July 30, 2016, some operatives of the National Security – with assistance from officers at the Asokwa Divisional Police Command in Kumasi– raided the Manso Tontokrom gold field to clamp down on activities of galamseyers.

The illegal miners, including members of Aisha’s group, reportedly fled from the scene upon seeing the police, leaving behind mining equipment and tools.

Two Chinese galamseyers, Chen Bingin 30, and Wu Xing Qiang 36, who were said to be working for the ‘untouchable’ woman, were also arrested after a chase, while ten excavators which they were using for the mining operation were seized by the combined team of security personnel.

Four of her assigns

Aisha Huang’s passport  



GAF Is Not Involved In ‘Galamsey’


On Friday 5 May 2017, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) monitored Joy FM’s Super Morning Show during which the host, Kojo Yankson and some panelists discussed a reported confidential National Security document which was supposedly intercepted by a Reporter, Raymond Acquah, alleging the involvement of GAF in illegal mining activities (galamsey) at Banda Nkwanta in the general area of the Bui Dam.

GAF wishes to express its utter dismay at the judgment and conclusions drawn by panelists on the morning show as well as subsequent news reports, without seeking the position of GAF on the matter before going ahead to discredit the military in its entirety. Indeed, contrary to what was alleged in the reportage, the GAF was never invited to participate in the forum and to state its position.

It is common knowledge that GAF does not seek to engage in self publicity. However, in the wake of the said panelists’ discussions and the impression the Joy FM report sought to create, it has become imperative to clarify the position of GAF.

As part of its Internal Security operations in support of civil authorities, GAF personnel are deployed across the country to perform numerous operational roles in order to safeguard the integrity and security of the state and to preserve the environment. Some of these personnel deployed under ‘OPERATION HALT’ are tasked to support efforts at curbing illegal mining activities and to provide security at state-sanctioned mining sites and concessions to ward off illegal miners, robbery attacks and encroachment.

In this regard, GAF has officially deployed personnel at Anglogold Ashanti mining sites and concessions. Under the same guiding principle of providing security to enhance socio-economic activities, such support could be extended to certified corporate bodies which require assistance. Examples include protection of the mining concessions of the Canada-Ghana Mining Company whose property worth thousands of dollars was vandalized at Sraha in the Wassa Amenfi District.

In the case of the personnel deployed at Banda Nkwanta as reported by Joy FM, GAF wishes to state categorically that these personnel are deployed to check illegal fishing, lumbering, pollution and other activities that are deemed detrimental to the smooth operations of the Bui Dam. Therefore, the assertion that GAF has deployed personnel to provide security at an illegal mining concession at Banda Nkwanta or to superintend over illegal mining is completely erroneous.

The commitment of GAF in enforcing the directives and ultimatum to halt ‘galamsey’ operations is demonstrated in the resolve of the Military High Command to deal with both perpetrators and collaborators. For example, where service personnel have been identified or arrested for assisting or engaging in any activity or unauthorized operations in relation to illegal mining, they have been dealt with in accordance with the applicable Armed Forces Regulations. On 28 March 2017 three ex-service men dressed in assorted military uniforms were picked up by a military patrol team for extortion and other activities in relation to illegal small scale mining at Wassa Akropong. The ex-service men were handed over to the civil police for further investigations and prosecution.

The Military High Command does not condone any acts of indiscipline involving its personnel but it is worth stating it is not always that our internal disciplinary measures are brought into the public domain. However, every misdemeanor that prejudices our service code of discipline is promptly investigated and dealt with. In this regard, the Military High Command will be happy to receive any evidence of misconduct for immediate action.

GAF further wishes to state that it is wholly in support and involved in all the strategies designed at halting illegal mining in the country. Indeed, the GAF has contributed positively in crafting anti-galamsey plans. GAF also acknowledges the vital role being played by the Media Coalition Against Galamsey. However, in order not to undermine or discredit the important roles of a major stakeholder, like GAF, in the fight against galamsey, it is very important that media houses cross check their facts with GAF or other institutions for clarifications on any reports before going public.

On the confidential National Security report allegedly intercepted by the Reporter, it must be placed on record that GAF is yet to receive any such report and therefore is unable to comment directly on it at this material time.

Director Public Relations


Source: Peace Fm online

Catholic Father Fights Galamsey

By:  Sarah Afful, Jukwa

The priest in-charge of Jukwa Krobo Grotto Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast in the Central Region, Rev. Fr. David Obeng Paintsil, has stressed the need for all Christians and Muslims of good will in the country to offer prayers on the first Sunday and first Friday of every month respectively to end illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.

According to him, the government, the media and civil society cannot succeed in this campaign without prayers.

He indicated that the situation at hand is so complex that human efforts are not enough to combat it.

Rev Fr Paintsil made this observation at a press conference held in the area.

He stressed the need for all to pray for divine intervention to touch the hearts of both the big and ordinary men behind the business that has dire consequences on the environment and life.

“This would also give the government and the media the will power and the spirit of perseverance to end the canker as well as give spiritual protection to all who were involved in this campaign, especially the sector minister and the media,” he said.

Rev Fr Paintsil entreated pastors and Imams to educate the youth on the hazards of the galamsey menace, and the effect of illegal mining activities in the country.

He noted that the government would get a lasting and sustainable solution to this national problem if people make up their minds to help save the lands and water bodies for the sake of posterity.

“This current state of the galamsey menace has depleted the hitherto rich farming lands and water bodies and one can no longer rely on the natural rivers for water consumption since they have been poisoned by dangerous chemicals from the activities of galamsey,” he lamented.

The priest added that there had been several attempts by successive governments and civil society organizations to deal with the menace in various ways but all such attempts landed on rocks.

Rev Fr Paintsil noted that the current campaign launched by the media and the government is in the right direction.



Government to strengthen Social Protection interventions for galamsey communities








The Child Rights International (CRI), a non-governmental Organisation has called on the government to make its Social Protection (SP), interventions known in the handling and the stoppage of ‘galamsey’ activities in the country.

The Organisation, which based its call on facts gathered from a survey it conducted in eight districts to ascertain the prevalence of child labour in mining communities, said over 2,092 children were found to be at high risk of hazardous works, including ‘galamsey’ operations in these area.

It said in the districts, which involved the Atwima Mponua, Atwima Nwabiagya, Bibiani, Asunafo South, Asutifi North and South, as well as the Ahafo Ano North and South, there were at least a family member in each of the sampled households who was engaged in illegal mining, and a total of 30 children identified to be working constantly in ‘galamsey’.

Mr Bright Appiah, the Executive Director, Child Rights International, who made the call at a press conference in Accra Thursday, applauded government for the tremendous intervention in stopping the ‘galamsey’ menace, and pledged the total support of the CRI in fighting the course to the end.

He, however, said in carrying out measures to halt ‘galamsey’ “we have to give attention to Social and Child Protection issues in the mining areas”, with the knowledge that children were also involved in the practice, which was a threat not only to their lives, but also to the country as it stood the risk of losing great leaders by record of a high school dropout rate.

The country would soon face the consequences of witnessing increases in children’s vulnerability to diseases due to the pollution of the environment if the situation was not quickly addressed, he said.

Mr Appiah said there was the need for government to look at the social protection implications on people, including children and put in place sustainable livelihood empowerment programmes as an alternative, to draw the affected into the social safety net.

He suggested to the government to take the appropriate steps to investigate the condition of children and households in the ‘galamsey’ endemic communities in order to support their welfare, rehabilitation and re-integration into mainstream society.

He said identifying such children would enable the government to withdraw them and develop remediation plans for their families.

He asked that much engagement and collaboration with formal and informal community structures, including traditional systems, Child Protection Committees, School Management Committees, Social Welfare as well as the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, and building their capacities to be pursued to achieve effective outcomes.


Source: Ghana business news

Anti-Galamsey Task Force Hits Road

By: I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi


Some members of the anti-Galamsey taskforce during the swearing in ceremony

From all indications illegal mining, also known as ‘galamsey,’ would end once-and-for-all in the Ashanti Region following the inauguration of a 15-member taskforce.

The move is to support government’s fight against illegal mining to forestall the destruction of the environment.

The Ashanti Regional Chapter of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners formed the taskforce made up of energetic men.

The taskforce has been charged to monitor the activities of illegal miners in the region.

The small-scale miners, who have declared war on illegal mining, have started another project christened ‘Operation Cover 2 Acres.’

Under the project, each member of the association would reclaim at least two acres of land destroyed through ‘galamsey’ in their catchment area.

Frank Osei, interim executive member of the association, stated that his outfit was determined to support government to effectively tackle illegal mining.

He observed that illegal mining activities rapidly destroy the environment, urging all small-scale miners to join the fight against the menace.

According to him, their open fight against illegal mining is to show to government that small-scale miners abhor ‘galamsey.’

Mr. Osei expressed hope that within the next three months, the taskforce would help reclaim vast lands damaged by the illegal miners.

He noted that the taskforce would officially work with the various assemblies in the region.

Mr. Osei also commended President Akufo-Addo’s decision to stop illegal mining in the country and urged all and sundry to support him.



Chinese gov’t is backing galamsey fight – Lands Minister

By: Austin Brako-Powers ,

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu says the Chinese government is in full support of Ghana’s efforts to end illegal mining known as galamsey.

He said the Xi Jinping government has given its backing for punitive measures to be meted out to Chinese nationals who are caught engaging in illegal mining in Ghana.

Speaking at Joy FM’s Thought Leadership dialogue on galamsey Friday, Mr Amewu said the President Akufo-Addo government will continue to collaborate with civil society groups to clamp down on the practice.

Chinese President Xi Jinping
The anti-galamsey campaign has been gathering momentum days after the Lands Ministry’s three-weeks ultimatum served miners to end their activities elapsed.

As part of activities to consolidate gains made since the start of the campaign in February 2017, the Lands Minister has been leading a delegation of mine officials to tour some illegal mining sites.

Some galamseyers at work
Available data at the Lands Ministry reveals a total of about 500 excavators used for illegal mining have been handed over to government by some of the operators.

The campaign was triggered by the destruction caused Ghana’s water bodies and forest reserves through galamsey activities. The Tano River in the Brong Ahafo Region, that serves several communities, has dried up for the first time in 40 years.

Some Ghanaians and their Chinese counterparts mining in the River Ankobrah in Western Region

The Brim and Densu Rivers in the Eastern Region and Ankobrah River in the Western Region have been muddied to an extent that experts have estimated it will cost more money for them to be treated for consumption.

Information available indicates some of the people found to be engaging in the practice are Ghanaians and Chinese. At least five Chinese and their Ghanaian counterparts are standing trial for mining in the Ankobrah River in the Western Region.

The five Chinese standing trial for allegedly mining in the Ankobrah River

The Chinese community in Ghana has expressed dissatisfaction with media reportage on galamsey, saying its people are being unfairly targeted.

In a letter to the Lands Ministry, officials of the Chinese mission said the campaign against galamsey could hamper bilateral relationship between the two countries if attacks on its citizens are not stopped.

The Lands Minister inspecting extent of damage to one of Ghana’s water bodies

In the heat of the campaign, reports were rife that the Chinese government has directed its Immigration Department to unfairly scrutinise travelling documents of Ghanaian businessmen and women at their airports because of the galamsey clamp down.

But the Lands Minister said President Akufo-Addo has communicated with Chinese President, Xi Jinping over the anti-galamsey activities and he has given his support.

A miner caught mining in the Western Region
“The Chinese government totally agrees with the government that any foreigner that misbehaves, they have [to be dealt with],” Mr Amewu said.

The Minister advised the media to exercise circumspection in their reportage since any Chinese accosted for engaging in illegal mining is an individual and not their government. “We should be careful,” he cautioned.

“We will continue to chase recalcitrant people who will not conform to sustainable environmental mining,” he warned.



‘Illegal miners’ set to return to sites for reclamation efforts

By: Nathan Gadugah,


llegal galamsey miners are set to return to site not to deplete and pollute the environment but to work towards reclaiming areas devastated by the illegal mining activity.

According to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu, his outfit will vigorously engage the illegal miners in a desperate bid to repair the lands destroyed by galamsey.

The illegal mining activities across the country have come to a halt at least for now following a massive joint anti-galamsey campaign by the government and the media.

Shortly after being appointed into office, the Minister gave a three week ultimatum to all illegal miners to halt their activities or face the consequences.

A good number of the miners are reported to have abandoned the sites and left behind huge excavators which have subsequently been taken over by the government.

Speaking at the Joy FM’s Thought Leadership programme on galamsey, John Peter Amewu said the government is resolved to fighting the canker that has destroyed many of the country’s water bodies and threatening the very existence of citizens.

River polluted by galamsey
It is believed Ghana may soon be importing water into the country if the galamsey menace is not resolved.

Already the forest reserve and farm lands have been destroyed completely as a result of the illegal mining activity.

The sector minister said his outfit will be fighting the canker on three main pillars including law enforcement and the use of technology.

He said in using the drone as the key technological application, the ministry will identify all the concessions and their owners and will monitor ever single activity of those owners.

Mr Amewu said not only will the task force be used to prevent the miners from returning to the sites, but the miners will be engaged to help in reclaiming the lands they have polluted.

The minister further stated, that government will no longer leave the prospecting of gold and other minerals in the hands of small scale miners but government will lead the way to ensure whatever mining activity is done is according to law.

But members of the small scale miners are not happy with the actions of the sector minister.

One of the representatives of the small scale mining association who was present at the Thought Leadership programme said they have not engaged at all by the minister.

He does not see how the minister wants them to buy into reclamation effort when they have not been consulted.



Galamsey returning – Segyimase, Akrofusu residents express fears

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa,

Reports from Segyimase near Kyebi in the East Akim Municipality of the Eastern Region indicate that illegal mining activities are gradually resurfacing.

These indications come some three weeks after the deadline of the nationwide ultimatum from government ordering the cessation of illegal mining activities, known locally as galamsey.

Residents have been complaining that the illegal miners have flouted the government’s orders, and the Assembly Member for the area, Emmanuel Akyeanor Tabi, expressed fears that  the miners have no intention of leaving the sites they operate on.

He explained that, the mining area in question was under a legal concession, but he alleged that the concessionaire had been leasing out land to the illegal miners.

Narrating to Citi News, Akyeanor Tabi said “the genesis of the whole thing is that, the place is under concession, but they released it to galamsey miners. So they [the illegal miners] were doing galamsey, they destroyed the water bodies, they mined without reclaiming and all kind of things.”

“So the Minerals Commission revoked that license temporarily, pending the concessionaire’s ability to reclaim all the land and dredge the rivers destroyed, and then they will see if they will be able reallocate the license to him.”

But Mr. Akyeanor Tabi said the concessionaire is yet to adhere to the Minerals Commission’s directive and has gone on to “bring in new galamsey operators who are working in the concession. They have paid the concessionaire and the concessionaire has asked them to come back and work.”

The effects of illegal mining in Kyebi as a whole have been well documented with the shutdown of the Ghana Water Company treatment plant at Kyebi in March 2017.

Kyebi was left with a single borehole as its water treatment plant shut down

The River Birim which feeds the Kyebi treatment plant is in a sorry state

The treatment plant, which takes water from the Birim River flowing from the Atiwa Forest, is seen to be heavly polluted by illegal gold mining activities.

Akrofusu calls for more security
The fear of a return of illegal mining extends to the Akrofusu electoral in the Atiwa District, where the Assembly member of that area, Kwaku Nyarko, complained to Citi News that illegal mining with heavy equipment was still ongoing.

This is despite the efforts of security personnel in the area, according to the Assemblyman, who said, “the galamsey situation at my end is still going on, especially with the chanfang and excavator, and chanfang miners who are in the river.”

“We ordered men from the Anyinam district, and we took up some operations; but immediately after the operation, they started working again… the police are still embarking on the operation, but they wait and work in the night.”

In light of the security struggles, Mr. Nyarko said government, “should bring more men so that we will be able to combat the galamsey people from there.”

Minerals Commission believes galamsey has almost stopped

These concerns come on the back of the Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn, saying that illegal small-scale mining activities were close to zero in the country following the intense media campaign and government action.

According to him, there were clear indications that illegal miners have suspended their operations and vacated their sites after government intervention.

Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn

Speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News’ Pointblank segment, Dr. Tony Aubynn said “when the ultimatum was given weeks ago, we were all waiting to see what will happen, but at the end of it, when we went round to the places, we saw virtually no mining activity going on, almost total cessation. By and large, there was no mining, and what we also saw was that, a lot of excavators, a lot of them had been parked. For now, we have seen that it [galamsey] has stopped,” he said.