Minister of Defence Mr Dominic Nitiwul has noted that illegal miners have adopted a new strategy of mining at night so as to evade the security agencies from detecting their activities.
He has therefore advised those engaged in night illegal mining to halt their nefarious activities.
“This is a new strategy adopted by the illegal miners. It is risky and as the Minister of Defence, I cannot guarantee their safety should they be caught by the task force”.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Nitiwul said since ‘Operation Halt’ commenced, some illegal miners, in their quest to escape being apprehended, have resorted to engaging in their illegalities between 9 pm and 4 am.
“They go at midnight and engage in Changfans activities and come back during the day. That is how brave they are. We know, and we know the towns that you are doing it in so we will come after you.
“And in the night for the safety of the soldiers, I cannot guarantee your own safety. No soldier will go out in the night without trying to protect himself or herself first. So I will advise you not to go out,” he emphasised.
The third phase of ‘Operation Halt’, an enhanced exercise to rid the country’s water bodies and forests of activities of ‘galamsey’ has ended.
The four-day operation, which was aimed at clearing illegal miners and equipment from the Birim River and its tributaries in the Eastern Region was successful.
The Defence Minister revealed that 49 excavators, 228 changfans, 87 water pumping machines, 76 wooden structures were destroyed during the exercise which was carried out by some 561 military personnel.
Mr Nitiwul also stated that the mining companies who have been sighted as culprits in destroying the country’s environmental resources will be tasked to resuscitate them.
“We expect mining companies responsible for this destruction to cover the holes they have created and plant trees at their own expense as stipulated by law. If they can’t do that, then they have no business being in the mining industry,” he stated