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Gov’t Won’t Allow Traditional Authorities To Frustrate Mining Investors – Minerals Commission

Minerals Commission

The government will not allow traditional authorities to frustrate investors in the mining sector, Mr Steven Agbo, Assistant Manager, Community Relations, Minerals Commission, has said.

He said the mining sector had huge prospects and contributed significantly to the nation’s economic development and advised Ghanaians to cooperate with mining companies for the country to get desirable benefits to push socio-economic growth and development.

Mr Agbo gave the advice at a media workshop organized by the Newmont Ahafo North Mine in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo Region on Tuesday in Sunyani.

It provided a platform for regulators in the mining sector to engage and build relationships, while the Mine updated the media on its operations in the Ahafo North.

Mr. Agbo said it was the government’s prerogative to negotiate better agreements and release concessions to mining companies.

“So traditional authorities have no right to frustrate activities of mining companies in the local communities,” he said.

Dr. Jackson A. Nyantakyi, the Ahafo Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), explained once a mining company obtained operational permits, the company had the privilege to mine within the concessional areas without obstruction.

He, however, expressed worry about recurring pockets of violent clashes between some mining companies and local communities and asked the Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) to learn lessons from its Ahafo South Mine and ensure that such unfortunate incidents were not repeated when the company commenced actual mining in Ahafo North.

Dr. Nyantakyi commended the Newmont Ahafo South project for its excellent operational standards and expressed the hope its Ahafo North would also follow suit.

Mr. Kwame Agbeko Azumah, the Communications and External Relations Director, NGGL said the NGGL believed in local content, saying the Ahafo North project had reserved and engaged 40 per cent of its workforce in the local communities.

In addition, he explained, the Mine would collaborate effectively with stakeholders, explore opportunities and create more jobs outside the Mine for the locals for enhanced socio-economic livelihoods.

Mr. Samuel Osei, the Communications and External Relations Manager of the Newmont Ahafo South Mine at Kenyasi, explained the company’s Skill Development Opportunity programme did not guarantee automatic employment at the Mine for beneficiaries.

He explained, though some of the beneficiaries might have had the opportunity to be engaged at the Mine, the programme was aimed at providing beneficiaries with employable skills training for them to establish their own businesses.

The Newmont Ahafo North project is part of the NGGL main Ahafo lease and consists of seven mineralized areas, 3.35 million ounces of reserves and a further 0.95 million ounces of Resource.

In July 2021, Newmont approved funds to develop the Ahafo North project investment of between US$750 and US$850 million.

The project, which includes a Tailing Storage Facility, is expected to produce 3.3 million ounces of gold over the mine’s 13-year life span.

Yamfo, Adrobaa, Susuanso, Techire and Afrisipakrom are the host communities for the project expected to generate 1,800 jobs and 550 direct jobs during construction and operations respectively.

Source: GNA

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