Six perish in illicit mining plot

Illegal mining for gold is commonplace in parts of Ghana
Illegal mining for gold is commonplace in parts of Ghana

Six illegal miners have been killed while digging for gold in the Ashanti region on Monday (May 26).

Police say there were 10 illegal miners in the pit when it collapsed. Three are being treated at a local hospital, while one escaped with minor cuts.

The men were digging for gold on a concession belonging to the Oweriman Mining Company, and were trapped about eight metres underground after they apparently set off an explosive device to blast the rocks, Deputy Superintendent of Police Richard Anaaba Salifu said.

Illegal miners being trapped in pits is a routine occurrence in four regions in Ghana but does not appear to deter those engaged in it. The government has set up a task force comprising mainly of security agencies to halt the menace, which occurs mainly in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Central Regions.

PANAPRESS reports that hundreds of Chinese, who have swarmed into those areas digging for gold with earth moving equipment, were deported last year, but many are said to have returned.