Blood gold: Residents near disputed China-owned mine are kicked out of their homes by Soldiers in Ghana
Soldiers in Ghana have kicked out local miners from their homes to create a way for the expansion of a Chinese mine that is in the middle of a $395 million dispute with Cassius (an Australian mining firm).
Some miners in Talensi, northern Ghana, have sold their plots to the Chinese state-linked mining company. In comparison, others refused to give up their land.
The stand-off triggered the military to seize the land after the approval of the Ghanaian government for the Chinese mine's plan to expand 50 times their original size.
The dispute occurred at a delicate time for Shaanxi, presently known as Earl International, which attempts to expand its operations despite the trespass, murder, and theft allegations.
The company (Earl International) is also facing claims of killing dozens of local miners since 2013 to stop them from entering its mining area. The company has denied the allegation.
Footage of protests about the site removal in September emerged. It showed soldiers blocking local mine pits and also bulldozing a dwelling.
Residents who planned to organize a press conference to state their concerns about the expansion of Earl International this week have been arrested. It was said by local police that five people had been arrested for "planning to stage a demonstration without police notice."
A former assembly member, Bismarck Zumah, said a small station was situated inside the Earl International compound for police.
He said, "They are there to protect the Chinese miners, not locals. The way the authorities are using the police in the area is solemn."
A spokesman for the company said the mining pits were closed for safety reasons. However, he denied the soldiers or police had destroyed any property.
He said, "Together with the government, an exit strategy was designed to have the small-scale miners relinquish their interests in the area."
The spokesman said Earl International and a joint military, Minerals Commission force, and police took the initiative to shut off all mining pits that are illegal within the Earl concession.
"We call on all well-meaning publics to support our drive towards sanitizing the mining area," he said.
A Cassius former mining project manager, Andrew Head, urged for the allegations to be addressed head-on by the Australian government.