A citizen of Kyempo, a major cocoa and foodstuffs producing community in the Asante Akyem South municipality, Mr Kofi Opoku, has expressed concern about the wanton destruction of food and cash crops in the area by illegal miners.

He has, therefore, appealed to the authorities to bring the perpetrators to book.

Mr Opoku led the Daily Graphic team to inspect some damaged cocoa and food crop farms at Kyempo last Tuesday.

He said he was in one of his cocoa farms when some alleged illegal miners, including three Chinese, approached and pleaded with him to allow them to mine for gold on his farm but he resisted their demand.

Three Chinese

The Daily Graphic tried to speak to the three Chinese at a mining site near Kyempo but they referred the paper to a Ghanaian male who was with them.

The Ghanaian, who refused to give his name, claimed that they had a mining licence from the Minerals Commission to prospect for gold, adding that they were not engaged in illegal mining.

Minright Ghana Limited

The Asante Akyem South Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Alex Frimpong, said the company, Minright Ghana Limited, was not engaged in illegal mining as it had been granted a prospecting licence.

He stressed that the company was a wholly-owned Ghanaian company and denied the involvement of any Chinese national in the prospecting activity.

Minerals Commission

The MCE referred the Daily Graphic to an officer of the Minerals Commission at Konongo, whose name was given only as Mr Kayi, for more details on the grant of a mining prospecting licence to Minright Ghana Limited.

When Mr Kayi was contacted on phone, he said he was on a long leave and that he would not speak on the issue to any journalist unless his bosses in Accra authorised him to do so.

Source: Graphic.com