Miner sues EPA and its Director-General

Sametro Company Limited has filed an injunction against  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Director General, Mr Daniel Amlalo from issuing environmental permits to Keegan Resources Ghana Limited or any person in respect of Esaase concession.

Esaase Concession is located in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.

The plaintiff, Mr Samuel Gordon Etroo a businessman contended that the said Deed of Assignment on which Keegan founds its interests in the Esaase Concession was not a validly obtained document.

He has therefore issued the substantive writ at the Commercial Court to set it aside on grounds of fraud, and filed for interim injunction.

Mr Etroo who is also the Managing Director of Sametro Company Limited noted that the foundation of the said agreement was without any legal effect as a judgment of the High Court, Accra on March 20, 2007, which was cited as the foundation for the agreement was procured by fraud.

Plaintiff noted that the EPA and its Director General published in the Daily Graphic newspaper dated October 17, 2012, a Scoping Report Notification as a prelude to issuing Keegan with relevant licences or permits.

According to the plaintiff the issue of the said permit or license by the Defendants will grant Keegan final authority to commence mining activities on the Esaase concession of the Plaintiff.

He contended that EPA and its Director General’s actions would also undermine his pending suit in the Commercial Division of the High Court and render it worthless.

Mr Etroo explained that Keegan was not entitled to any licence or permit from the Defendant as they procured the Esaase concession fraudulently and also in view of the pendency of the suit and application for interlocutory injunction.

Plaintiff held that the request for the said permit implies that Keegan has completed prospecting and exploration activities and is ready to commence mining activity on the Esaase concession.

He noted that the Defendants would grant permits or licences to Keegan unless halted by the injunctive powers of the court adding, that would cause irreparably damage to his interests in the Esaase concession.

In affidavit in support of the case, Mr Etroo held that he is the Managing Director who holds a 50 per cent shareholder in Sametro Company.

Plaintiff said his company acquired a gold mining concession at Esaase Bontefufuo in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region as per a Deed of Agreement dated July 4, 2005 with the Official Liquidator of Bonte Mines Ltd.

Mr Etroo averred that the said acquisition was approved by the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines and duly registered with the Minerals Commission after the payment of all relevant fees.

“In April 2006, Keegan Resources Ghana Ltd expressed interest in the said Esaase mining concession and after initial discussions with the Managing Director of the Applicant company, it granted Keegan permission to undertake a due diligence on the Esaase mining concession pending final negotiations,” Plaintiff contended.

He said he noticed later that Keegan was still on its site after the agreed time frame for due diligence and upon further enquiries was informed that it had completed an agreement with him for the acquisition of its Esaase gold concession.

Mr Etroo averred that his company had not entered into any agreement for the transfer or assignment of its interests in the Esaase Gold Mining Concession to the Keegan.

Plaintiff said he was later informed that one of its directors had entered into an Option Agreement with Keegan but he had not instructed any director or other official to enter into any binding agreement with Keegan in respect of its Esaase concession to assign its interests.

“That at all material times, Keegan knew that there was a Managing Director of the Applicant but did not at any stage communicate any of the purported agreements being entered into in the Applicant’s name to the Managing Director,” Plaintiff said.

Mr Etroo said a Deed of Assignment dated 26 May 2007 purportedly executed between the Keegan and him for the assignment of its interests in the Esaase Concession was “a grand scheme of fraud perpetrated on the company”.

Source: GNA

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