In a rare move, illegal miners have taken over one of Mensin Bibiani Mines’ priced concessions and threatened to fight anybody who attempts to remove them.
Speaking to JoyNews, the miners said they have laid claim to the rich gold mountain on the back of promises by President Nana Akufo-Addo to plead with the mining company to lease part of its concession to them for community mining.
The illegal miners say they will resist any attempt to move them until the company releases part of its minerals concession to them.
Mensin Gold Bibiani Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Resolute mining.
Government is entitled to a 10% free carried interest in Mensin Gold Bibiani Limited.
Since assuming ownership in 2014, Resolute’s surface and underground drilling search has confirmed the potential for Bibiani to produce 100 thousand ounces of gold per year over a 10-year mine life.
But even before the company will begin its work, illegal miners have taken over a core area of its mining lease.
This mountain, dubbed Elizabeth Hill by the company and known to the illegal miners as ‘Kusie mountain’ feeds directly into Mensin gold’s priced gold resources.
But it’s now the bedrock of illegal mining activity, with holes eating deep into the belly of the earth siphoning the company’s gold deposits.
“We cannot sit on money and go hungry. Some of our colleagues here went hunting and found gold here. So we told ourselves that since no one has mined the gold here for the past nine years, then we will do it ourselves,” they said.
Officials of Mensin Bibiani Company will not immediately speak on the matter.
The company has, however, disclosed in a statement that it has engaged the police, National Investigations Bureau and local authorities on the matter to no avail.