The Ghana Chamber of Mines has criticised government’s decision to remove all security personnel from mining communities and concessions across the country.
They say the move will contribute to the gradual decline in security in these mining areas.
President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Eric Asubonteng, called for government to reconsider and rescind their decision since it is not in the best interest of the mining sector.
“Unfortunately, the decision of government to withdraw its public security officers, particularly the soldiers from the mines, in general, has culminated in the deteriorating of the security climate of these mines and the adjoining communities that these mines operate in,” he said.
Government’s resolve to end illegal mining was given a boost with the deployment of security personnel to three regions considered the most affected by the menace in August 2017.
Operation Vanguard was launched at Burma Camp in Accra with 400 security men made up of personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the Police Service.
They were divided into three groups to cover the Ashanti, Eastern and Western Regions.
But it seems they will be withdrawn by government soon much to the disappointment of organisations like the Ghana Chamber of Mines.
Mr Asubonteng lamented that the private security guards that member companies contract, are less equipped as compared to the national security personnel to handle the threats posed by the armed illegal miners and other miscreants.
“While the chamber acknowledges and respects government’s prerogative in deploying public security officers to protect high-value investments, we respectfully suggest that it must not be done in a manner that makes the business community worse off,” he said at a training program for public security officers in Cape Coast.
“The current strategy of government to deploy its security officers to a mine only after the occurrence of serious incidents does not auger well for the operations of our members and the strategic interest of the state,” he said.