Chinese nationals in the Wassa Akropong district of the Western Region say the only role they play in the illegal small scale mining in the area is to provide technical support to local miners.
They are therefore baffled at the tag of illegal miners left hanging loosely around their necks.
In an interview with Adom Fm’s Kofi Adomah, Anthony Chi Wangi, one of the men who has lived in Ghana for 10 years said “Chinese don’t do galamsey.”
His comments come at a time many Chinese nationals in Ghana have been fingered in the illegal mining activities popularly referred to as galamsey in Ghana.
Many of these foreigners are said to have pitched camp in the country’s mineral rich regions and employed locals who use unacceptable methods to mine the mineral.
The illegal activity has resulted in the destruction of arable farm lands and the depletion and pollution of water bodies.
This has made it almost impossible for the Ghana Water Company to supply some of its treatment plants connected to these rivers with water for treatment.
A move by the Media Coalition to bring an end to these illegal activities to save the country’s water bodies has received massive support from government.
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The Minerals Commission has suspended the issuance of small scale mining licenses. The Lands and Natural resources Minister, Peter Amewu also issued a three-week ultimatum for all illegal miners to suspend their activities.
Many have also called for the Chinese to be repatriated to their country or be punished for their crime, since foreigners are not allowed to undertake small scale mining activities in Ghana.
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In a reaction however, Anthony Chi Wangi said it is unfortunate that they are being blamed for the menace.
He said no Chinese individual is involved in the illegal mining activity.
“You cannot blame us for illegal mining. The Ghanaian people want to do small scale mining, but they do not have the money, so they come to us for technical support.
“So we come together and partner them and provide them with machines,” Anthony added.
For him, the Chinese’ interest is a purely business one. He said once the locals are able to pay for the services, they are ready to lend the machines to them.
This he said, is the farthest they can go because, “If you don’t know me, how can I enter your house,” he queried.