Mining Company AngloGold Ashanti Ghana has allayed fears that some persons are trapped and stuck underground in the northern areas of its Obuasi mine.
In a press release, it said, “AngloGold Ashanti Ghana’s Obuasi Mine is aware of media reports alleging that illegal miners may have been trapped underground in the northern areas of the mine, remote from current active mining areas.”
According to the Company, there are existing exit points that can be used.
“Unauthorized persons underground are able to exit on foot, via the existing ramp, through the main access of this mining area. No person underground has been confined in any way and the main exit ramp from the mine remains open.
“No person underground has been confined in any way and the main exit ramp from the mine remains open,” the statement noted.
It has been reported that over 100 illegal miners unlawfully entered the working area underground in search of gold. They had been there for almost a week embarking on their objective until they ran out of food supply.
They are reported to have sent signals to their family members who have since stormed the area.
One woman who told the media his husband was among the “trapped” said the intruders fear being arrested and have, therefore, chosen to stay in there.
According to her, her husband was recently released after spending five weeks in remand for embarking on the same escapade.
“My husband is in there. There is no job here in Obuasi. We never had education and so this is what we do for survival. I’m unable to reach him because his phone is off. They are hungry and weak. They are all in there. If they get out, they will be arrested,” she said.
Seven persons who used the exit points yesterday have been arrested, the Company said.