The Technical committee commissioned by the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission to investigate the cause of death of 17 miners in the Gbane mining area in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region is expected to release its findings by the end of this week.
This is according to the Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Abayage.
The technical team from the inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission led by the Chief Inspector of Mines, Mr. Kofi Adjei visited both Kofi Appiah’s mine pit and Shaanxi mining company and also interviewed key stakeholders.
On January 23, 2019, some miners were trapped by smoke, and 17 died after a blast by Shaanxi mining company.
The miners were reportedly using one Kofi Appiah’s pit to link Shaanxi mines allegedly to ‘steal’ gold ore.
Speaking exclusively to Citi News, after the committee’s investigations, Upper East Regional Minister Paulina Abayage said, the findings of their report would be out by February 15, 2019.
“The investigation committee has finished its investigations on the matter last week and informed me that, their findings will be out in about a week time. So, I am hoping that, by the close of this week, their report will be out,” she said.
She strongly indicated that any person or group of persons found culpable will be dealt with in accordance with the recommendations and laws of the land.
“I am seriously worried about these deaths at Gbane; it shouldn’t have happened; it was highly preventable so if we wouldn’t prevent it and it happened, whoever is culpable should be brought to book. If I have the authority to execute the recommendations, I won’t shield anybody found culpable of any wrongdoing.”
The Minerals Commission has shut down all mining activities of Shaanxi mining company and Kofi Appiah’s pit until further notice.
Meanwhile, the Upper East Regional Police Command has secured a high court injunction preventing a group calling itself Concern Citizen of Talensi from demonstrating in protest of the deaths.
The Police said the group refused to abide by the proposed routes for their demonstration.
The group proposed to demonstrate from Sheaga through to Tongo and to the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council where they will deliver a petition to the Regional Minister for onward delivery to the President, Nana Akufu-Addo.
But both the Talensi District committee and the Regional Minister advised that the demonstration should be held from Sheaga to the Talensi District Assembly where the Regional Minister shall receive their petition for onward delivery to the president but the group declined the offer hence the decision of the police.
By: Frederick Awuni/citinewsroom.com/Ghana