Liberia: Police Deployed at Gboanipea Gold Mine Where over 400 Armed Illegal Miners Have Taken Over
Tappita, Nimba County – In the wake of a second goal rush at the Gboanipea Gold mine near Tappita, Nimba County, the Government has deployed a squadron of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police to safeguard the area.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]
According to report, over 400 illegal miners, carrying single barrel pistol, knives and cutlasses entered the mining site on June 4, 2020 in search of gold. They soon began scrambling for control of the site, and the incident led to the injury of two persons
The Gboanipea Gold Mine is notoriously known for the death of over 60 illegal miners who were trapped underground in February 2019 as a result of landslide.
In the aftermath of the incident, the Government, in solidarity with the families of the victims declared a national day of mourning and deployed the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to the area.
Seven months later, In September 2019, a concession agreement was signed between the residents of the area and the Universal Forestry Corporation (UFC).
The company started official operation in October of the same year but slowed down activities in February to acquire more equipment. While in the process, COVID-19 hit Liberia and the company was forced to shut down all of its activities, leaving behind a small team to monitor and safeguard the mine and its properties.
On Thursday June 4, 2020, the security at the site reported that there was heavy influx of non-employees of the company at about 9:00 pm amid news of the discovery of a gold line.
According to the security report, more than four hundred people, majority of whom were carrying Single Barrel Pistol, knives and cutlasses entered the mining site in search of the gold line.
According to the Company’s Administrative Assistant, the intruders outnumbered the security and so they had to abandon the site to save their lives.
However, residents of the area have blamed the company of the latest incident.
Speaking to FrontPage Africa, the Acting City Mayor of Tappita, Sam Kpahn alleged that while the company announced the suspension of its activities, some senior staff were recruiting unemployed residents under cover and sending them under the ground to mine.
It was during the process that a gold line and hell broke loose, leading to the influx of hundreds of illegal miners in search of their share.