Check Mining Coys Activities – Govt Told

George Owusu Asante addressing journalists

Citizens Committee Network (CICONET), an empowerment social group formed under the auspices of Advocate for Community Alternatives, a non-profit legal organization, has urged the government to reconsider the legality of large-scale mining companies engaged in irregular mining activities in the country.

According to CICONET, three communities in the Eastern Region – Fanteawa South District, namely Juaso, Nsuapemso, and Sagyimase, have been affected by illegal mining activities by several large-scale mining companies.

In a press conference, CICONET Chairman, George Owusu Asante stated that the Kibi Goldfield mining business had taken over vast swaths of lands belonging to the people of Juaso without prior notice, hurting their livelihood and access to potable drinking water.

“Rather than the mining company informing owners of the land who are predominantly farmers for negotiations, the company takes over the land often overnight and in most cases without surveying the land, destroys crops and economic trees” he stated.

These allegations leveled against the mining company violates Section 72(5) of the Mineral and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), which requires the owner of the mining lease to, “in the presence of the owner or accredited representative of the owner, and an officer of the Government agency responsible for land valuation, carry out a survey of crops and produce a crop identification map for compensation in the event that the mining activities are extended to the areas.”

During an on-site investigation, it was discovered that the mining firm had cleared huge farmlands directly adjacent to the community’s unfinished black soap firm, which was built by the community to provide an alternate source of income for local residents.

“The company’s excavators have shaken the building’s stability, frightening community members who want to participate in the self-project, disrupting farming activities and causing devastating effects on the community’s livelihood.” “We are unable to farm, which is making life extremely difficult for us,” remarked Owusu Asante.

Similarly, the Narasa mining company was identified as taking over farms in Nsuapemso without adequate agreements, according to him, while numerous pits in the Sagyimase village mining pits remain uncovered, putting the lives of community members at risk.

Daniel Damptey, a farmer, told DAILY GUIDE in an interview that he lost his two sons, Grant Larbi, 24, and Blessed Damptey, 21, in the exposed mining hole, and that attempts to persuade the firm to compensate them had failed.

He wants the government to step in and help rescue affected communities as well as compensate victims.

BY Prince Fiifi Yorke