Sunday, October 17, 2010


THE Obuasi branch of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) has called on mining companies to institute adequate safety and rescue measures for their workers.
Referring to what happened in Chile where some mine workers were trapped underground, the union said mining companies needed to learn a lesson from it in order to prevent such occurrence.
The branch, comprising workers of Anglogold Ashanti, said what happened in Chile, where 33 miners were trapped in a 2,300 feet underground mine for sometime, could happen anywhere in the world.
It said it was important that mine owners adopted the right measures to prevent and deal with them when they occurred.
Speaking during an interaction with journalists at Obuasi at the start of a week-long fasting and prayer session instituted by the branch for God to intercede for the rescue of the trapped miners in Chile, the branch Chairman, Mr Kwadwo Mensah Gyakari, said the risk associated with mining was enormous.
“There is therefore, the need for all players in the industry to play to the rules of the industry so that lives would always be protected,” he said.
The Chilean miners were working at the San Jose gold and copper mine near the city of Copiapo, 500 miles north of Santiago, at a depth of around 2,300 feet when the rock above them collapsed on August 5, this year.
Rescuers say it will take at least 120 days to carve a second shaft wide enough for the miners to be pulled up one after another.
Mr Gyakari described the situation as very disturbing and said that was why they were praying to God to save the lives of the trapped miners.
He stated that although Obuasi operated a multi-link shaft unlike Chile, which had the single-shaft mine, the Chile situation could still happen in Ghana.
Mr John Abdulai, a miner with 21 years experience at Obuasi, advised his colleagues to avoid alcoholism and other immoral acts in order to live longer.

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