Over 200 illegal miners, popularly known as galamsey, have taken over the concession of the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) at Apemanin in the Ahanta West Municipality in the Western Region.
The area forcibly taken over by these illegal miners is part of GREL concession which was planted with rubber in the 1960s. The rubber, replanted in 2010 and currently being destroyed, could see the company lose more than €3.5million of investment over the next 30 years.
When B&FT visited the place, there were a lot of youth busily working on the land.
Mr. Perry Acheampong, an executive of GREL in an interview with the B&FT explained that this is a company the government, through the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme supported in constructing a new factory which was commissioned early this year.”
The plantation, according to him, is supposed to provide the raw materials for the 1D1F factory but the illegal miners are destroying it.
The company, is therefore appealing to the Municipal Assembly and stakeholders in the industry to help stop these illegal activities which continue to wreak havoc on the land and the environment.