Illegal miners who invaded AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.’s Obuasi operation in Ghana are unmoved by a government order to vacate the site and continue to extract gold from the property, according to one of the mine’s unlawful occupants.
The world’s third-biggest gold producer lost control of Obuasi, one of the oldest mines in the world which has been in operation since the 19th century, after informal miners invaded the property in January.
The Johannesburg-based company has repeatedly asked the West African nation to act and registered a case at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in May because of the government’s failure to do so.
Ghana’s Mineral Commission last week gave the illegal miners a deadline of Oct. 10 to vacate the site and resettle on a portion of land covering 60 percent portion of the 485 square-kilometer mining right, which AngloGold ceded to the government in March.
“We were threatened that the military will be brought to guard the place from Monday but nothing happened,” Haruna Yakubu, who heads a group of 10 illegal miners, said Wednesday by phone from Obuasi, about 290 kilometers (180 miles) northwest of the capital, Accra. “So we continue with our work, we must also make some money to take care of our families.”
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