Prestea ‘galamseyers’ serve notice of a ‘deadly’ demo against mining firm

There is a looming social unrest in the Prestea community of the Western region.

A group of small scale miners in the area have served notice to stage what they term a ‘deadly’ and ‘relentless’ demonstration to demand access to mining lands occupied by Future Global Resources Limited.

The group, identified as the Central Committee of Community Mining, Prestea, says the mining company, after its establishment, closed down mining sites which were originally not within their catchment.

They want management of the mine to free the concessions for community mining.

In a letter sighted by LuvNews addressed to the Municipal Chief Executive for Prestea-Huni Valley, the miners complained the operations of the company has deprived them of their source of livelihood.

“Some of their activities have very bad and dangerous effect to our very existence in the community and we are not going to sit down for the last man to die before. The community is predominantly galamsey community years back that means it was their way of survival since.

“Now, the company has chosen to destroy the livelihood of the very people, and we are not going to stand there and fold our hands like that,” read a statement signed by Chairman of the group, Ebenezer Oko Berimah.

The group accuse Future Global Resource Limited of failing to employ any member of the community in its operations.

The aggrieved small scale miners have resolved to embark on a demonstration backed by “other external forces and militants who are ever ready to do anything when ordered to fight for the freedom of Prestea and its environs.”

“We will put a halt to their activities from top to down by all means and make sure that we make the company unmanageable if they will not let us live. We will handle their workers and personnel in our own way. We will make sure that no productivity goes on,” the letter read.

The group says it will target properties owned by the mine including vehicles, trucks, machines, plants, water bursal and security personnel who patrol the company’s concession at night.

“This demonstration will be the worst of its kind in the history of Prestea. People are ready to sacrifice their blood for this. It is more of Godzilla battle,” portions of the letter read.

The unhappy ‘galamseyers’ say activities of the mine, including blasting, endangers their existence and health as a strong dynamite explosion on a rock years ago destroyed some nearby buildings, electricity poles, amongst others.

First attack

On July 27, 2021, some irate youth of Dumasi – a community in the Prestea-Huni Valley municipality – looted and vandalized properties of Future Global Resources Limited.

The youth who felt ‘short-changed’ by the mine torched the company’s digital security post, the union office amongst other facilities at the mine. Windscreens of vehicles belonging to the company and some workers were shattered by the angry protesters forcing the company to shut down temporarily.

Ghana Chamber of Mines worried

Meanwhile, the Ghana Chamber of Mines in a press statement has expressed its greatest concerns over the spate of violent attacks on mining companies in the country.

The governing body of the extractive industry described the upsurge of the hostile and violent acts of perpetrators as a ‘disappointing watershed’.

The concerns came at the heels of recent attacks on the Benso concession of Golden Star Wassa Limited in the Western region.

Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Dr. Sulemanu Koney, indicated that the growing violence, if not checked, could breed terrorist-linked attacks.

“Since the hike in such attacks has coincided with an upsurge in terrorist-linked attacks at mines in other mining jurisdictions in the sub-region, the government must prioritize the security of the mines,” he said.

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