Sanso Community angry at AngloGold Ashanti over closure of mining site

Youth leader Kwabena Ofori addressing the media

Sanso, a community in Obuasi, Ashanti Region, has registered its displeasure over attempts by Anglogold Ashanti (AGA) to close the Asuokyi mining site.

Members of the community claim the Asuokyi site is the only source of their livelihood, after AGA allegedly destroyed farmlands in the area for its operations.

They have protested against the move by AGA and petitioned Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, the Ashanti regional minister, to intervene in settling the longstanding disagreement between the Sanso Community in Obuasi and AngloGold Ashanti, which borders on employment of indigenes from the community.

Community members, especially the youth, protested against the mining company for being rendered unemployed after their farmlands were destroyed by the activities of AngloGold.

Mr. Kwabena Ofori, the Convener and leader of the youth, at press briefing after the demonstration, stated that AngloGold is preparing to close a mining pit in the community, known as Asuokyi, which he said has being the source of livelihood for most of the residents at Sanso.

He alleged that the company claimed the presence of the illegal miners from Sanso in Asuokyi posed danger to the survival of the mine, an assertion Mr. Ofori vehemently refuted and insisted that the site had no direct link to AGA’s underground site.

Mr. Ofori accused AngloGold Ashanti of unfairness since the company does not engage community members when there is recruitment, citing instances where members of the community had been sidelined, even after going through interviews.

He, however, appealed to the Ashanti Regional Minister and the Ashanti South Regional Police Commander to swiftly intervene since the community would resist any attempt by AngloGold Ashanti to close down the Asuokyi site.

Mr. Samuel Oduro, a former Assembly member of Sanso, also alleged that AngloGold Ashanti company through its activities has polluted their water bodies, destroyed their farmlands and caused all sorts of environmental destruction, yet the community has not been fully compensated.

He stressed that the community initially evacuated from all mining sites in the community, where they have been operating, following a plea from AGA to enable the company woo investors.

Mr. Oduro disclosed that after 2016, AGA prevented the people from accessing those sites, even though some of them have been left unattended to by AGA.

He stated that, they are sending a signal to AngloGold Ashanti and all those involved that, they would not leave the Asuokyi site, because that is their only source of livelihood.

“Leaving the site would be suicidal as their livelihoods would come under serious threat,” he said.

AngloGold has confirmed, upon The Chronicle checks, that the pit of Asuokyi would be closed because the activities at the site are affecting their underground works.

According to checks from the multi-international mining company, the continuous operations at Asuokyi site by the community is putting lives in danger and is effecting the community’s underground safety works.


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