Accra, Sept.30, GNA - The government’s onslaught on illegal mining, otherwise known as "galamsey" continues with the Deputy Minister in charge of Mines, Mr George Mireku Duker, leading a security taskforce to shut down an illegal mining site in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region on Thursday, September 30.
Mr Mireku Duker, who was on a monitoring tour of the Operation Halt II taskforce in the Region, led the joint security team to storm the mining site and arrested seven persons who were found engaging in illegal mining.
The Deputy Minister and his entourage also decommissioned 19 changfans and other illegal mining equipment found on the site.
Mr Mireku Duker lamented the stubbornness of the illegal miners and chided them for breaking the mining laws with impunity.
He warned that government’s fight against illegal mining was in full swing and that the seven suspects would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
He noted that some lives had been lost at that particular mining sites and that authorities had served the Company several warnings to stop operating but fell on deaf ears.
He added that like every Ghanaian he was concerned with the continuous degradation of forest reserves and water bodies.
He averred that the crackdown on illegal mining would continue until the government and Ghanaians were satisfied with the state of the water bodies.
“It’s very worrying that Ghanaians are drinking from diverted water that has been polluted by mercury. Farmers are also complaining that their farms are being destroyed," he lamented.
"The Pra River has been diverted and polluted and I believe it’s time for all Ghanaians to come on board to help fight it.
"We cannot fight it alone and all hands must be on deck to fight illegal mining.
“I’m happy the security apparatus is helping us and I’m calling on all Ghanaians to be alert and help fight this menace.
"These people are going to be prosecuted and we are going to continue the onslaught unabated," he stressed.
Mr Mireku Duker was on the tour of the Region to have a first-hand information of the operations of the anti-galamsey taskforce.
The visit will see him stage unannounced visit to some mining sites as well as waterbodies in the Region.