Mr Gerard Boakye, the Group Corporate Affairs Manager of Golden Star Wassa Limited (GSWL) on Tuesday, said the company’s contribution to national statutory payments will decline due to the recent attacks by some illegal miners.
He said the attack on its property at its Benso site in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region, by some rioting illegal miners, had resulted in huge damage to the company.
Mr Boakye explained that in 2022, most mining companies contributed 5,000 ounces of gold to their reserves, but this year the new regulation said they needed to contribute 20 per cent of their annual production to the oil for gold programme which would improve the value of the cedi.
Speaking to some journalists in the Western Region who toured of the facilities of the company, Mr Boakye said the halting of the operations at one of its sites that contributed about a third of its total production for a month, would result in a huge lose to the company and the nation.
On the cost of property vandalised during the riot, the Group Corporate Affairs Manager said, “We have not calculated the actual cost but for the purpose of analysis, you saw 22 dump trucks with their screens crushed. The dump truck itself cost $478,000 so to replace those if we are taking just a fifth to repair the screen that is a lot of money”.
Additionally, “for the light vehicles I will not differentiate between ambulances, land cruisers and pick-ups but roughly an amount of 60,000 dollars average per light vehicle and you know we did not buy these at current prices, so its depreciated, but now we have to secure them at current price which will actually bloat our cost of operation because this was unexpected,” he said.
Mr Boakye emphasised that before restarting the Benso project, the company spent a lot, but they had not even recovered 50 per of the investment they made, adding that, “this will not attract investors into the country”.
“Even for the local economy because we are here there are people doing money transfer, chop bars, among others. So, for the small-scale investors if the place is not safe, they will stop operating, how much more the investor who is bringing his hard-earned dollars that is going to reduce investment,” Mr Boakye pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Queen mother of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area, Nana Abena Kunadjoa II, has condemned the attack by the illegal miners from Subriso, saying “I am so disappointed, how can you burn such expensive vehicles running into millions of dollars. This is unacceptable”.
Nana Kunadjoa II has therefore appealed to residents of the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area and beyond to help the police apprehend all those involved in the act to face the law.
On Thursday March 16, 2023, some illegal miners attacked employees of the GSWL over illegal mining activities at one of the company’s concessions.
The illegal miners in the process injured some employees, smashed screens of 22 dumper trucks and set 12 vehicles including excavators, ambulances, land cruises and pick-ups on fire.
The police have so far arrested thirty-three people in connection with the crime.