Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — 03 July 2013 – A group of illegal miners accompanied by children has invaded the Geita gold mine in northern Tanzania near Lake Victoria and forcibly attempted to steal waste rocks and diesel on site.
allAfrica.com quotes mine and police reports as saying that among the 2,000 illegal miners apprehended this year, 40% were under the age of 21, a fact which increases concern over children being involved in illegal mining.
Management of Geita, which is an open pit gold mine operated by AngloGold Ashanti, confirmed to East African Business Week that a group of about 60 to 70 trespassers had forcibly attempted to steal the mine’s resources.
“At present, there are about 300 to 500 illegal miners in the mining area, and this is a daily occurrence,” AngloGold Ashanti’s communications manager, Tenga Tenga told the newspaper.
The situation has compelled the mine to request additional police presence from the Geita Regional Police Commander to secure the facility.
During the latest incident, Tenga said “the group forced its way along the upper benches of Geita Hill pit and threw rocks and pushed boulders at the police and the Rapid Response Unit members on the pit floor, in an attempt to force them to leave the area.”
In response, he added, the police were forced to use tear gas. The police and mine security had managed to contain the situation and secure the pit without any harm to property or injury to intruders or employees.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.