Shaanxi Killing Miners With Impunity?!…Official Death Toll Rise To 33

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Amewu

The official death toll of miners recorded as a result of very poor or bad mining practices of Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited(SMGL) in the Upper East has hit the 33 mark as the cave-in which occurred few days ago claimed two more lives.

This 33 deaths record was compiled by the Chief Crime Officer in the Talensi district, Chief Superintendent Sampson Agbeko.
Shaanxi is a Chinese company doing small scale mining in the Talensi District on behalf of two small scale mining companies called Pubortaaba & Yenyeya Mining Group.

Since the Chinese signed agreement with the above mentioned group in 2009 and started full operations in 2012, Shaanxi has always featured in the news for all the wrong reasons especially on issues of bad mining practices leading to these deaths.

On the 10th of August 2017, when Shaanxi’s mine blast killed some seven miners, the then sector minister, John Peter Amewu was very angry when he announced that he was going to shut down Shaanxi only for him to visit the site and turn around to rather ask the Chinese to come for proper license as was captured on the front page of the Daily Graphic titled “STOP THE

GALAMSEY AND COME FOR PROPER LICENSE – AMEWU TELLS SHAANXI”. In fact, when the government of Ghana banned galamsey and all forms of small scale mining activities in the country, it was only Shaanxi who was the only small scale company who mined throughout the ban under the authorization of the powerful hand of Mr. Peter Amewu.
When this same Chinese company blasted and killed 17 miners on the 19th of January this year, the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources’ (MLNR) own commissioned investigative report found Shaanxi guilty on five different counts of bad practices and negligence and were fined a total of $50,000($10,000 for each count) and then they asked the Chinese to go back to work with no recommendations for compensation for the deceased family.

The Ministry appears to have failed in discharging it’s supervisory and monitoring role for whatever considerations or motivation given Shaanxi’s past record otherwise the last accident which claimed two precious Ghanaian lives wouldn’t have happened.

In some jurisdiction, Shaanxi would have been shut down and their officials prosecuted because they are supposed to be a mining company not a killing machine. It is surprising however that in spite of all these killings, the Chinese continue to work as though the Ghanaian life is just worth a bottle of juice and meat pie.

Some of the locals actually argue that the death toll is 66 because they claim, while some died on-the-spot others survive the poisonous gases they inhale under the pit for a day or two before they die at home and they are normally not reported.

On the 19th of February this year, in Tanzania, a Chinese business woman Yang Fenglan, (nicknamed ‘Ivory Queen’) was sentenced to 15 years in jail for killing elephants for their tusk.
Stay tuned…

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