At least one illegal miner has been left injured after some police officers stationed at Asanko Gold Mines allegedly shot him in a renewed clash.
24-year-old Joseph Mensah, from Abream in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region, suffered a fracture and injuries on his stomach.
He was rushed to the Agroyesum St. Martins Hospital where he is currently responding to treatment.
The miner, together with many others, invaded the Akwasiso pit of the company to steal some gold-bearing materials.
According to the firm, a police attempt to stop the youth resulted in a confrontation that required the officers to fire warning shots, leaving one of the youth injured.
The firm said the police officers had no choice but to defend themselves as the youth were allegedly carrying machetes and cutlasses.
Acting General Manager of Asanko Mines, Ahmed Muhadeeni Yahaya, said two of the illegal miners were arrested following the confrontation.
He said the brazen attitude of the youth who routinely go into the concession to take gold-bearing materials is a major source of concern for the company.
“They went into our pit to take GBM (goldbearing materials) which is not allowed. So in the course of that, they had an interaction with the security and they threatened with machetes to slash any policeman who will dare even come close to them,” he stated.
He said the police felt threatened “so in the course of that they had to fire a shot that hit one of the galamsey operators and he was arrested, in addition to two others”.
The youth became enraged, mobilized, attacked and vandalised the company’s vehicles with one of their tipper trucks burnt.
Mr. Yahaya noted that the mining company is surrounded by some 25 communities and that it will be impossible to employ all the people in those areas as expected by the youth.
He said even those who were employed deserted the company in just a few months saying galamsey is more lucrative.
The Assembly member for the Abream Electoral Area, Amo Edward, however, said the attitude of the company towards the community folks is unfair and unacceptable.
He said the youth were only trying to process some of the waste products left by the company but came under attack.
The District Chief Executive for Amansie South District, Clement Opoku Gyamfi, said the situation has been recurring but the assembly is considering measures to bring lasting peace between the company and the communities.
He said steps are being intensified to continue engagements with the youth including chiefs of the various communities to settle the situation.
Mr. Gyamfi urged the youth to remain calm as their grievances will be appropriately addressed.
He also admonished them to eschew vandalism and hooliganism in order for the assembly to pay heed to their concerns.