Minister orders mining firm to stop exploration activities at Sekyere Obuasi
Mr Alfred Ekow Gyan, Deputy Western Regional Minister, on Monday ordered Dpong Construction Limited to stop its mining exploration activities at Sekyere Obuasi in the Wassa East District.
He said the company should produce documents authorising its operations.
He gave the order during an impromptu visit to the concession of the company at Sekyere Obuasi.
The Deputy Regional Minister was accompanied by Mr Anthony Aggrey, District Chief Executive, members of the Regional Security Committee as well as the District Security Committee.
Two Chinese men, an Italian woman and an unidentified man who were found at the site were arrested to assist in investigations.
Mr Gyan said mining activities are to be undertaken not less than 100 meters from water bodies but the operations of the company was being carried out less than 70 meters from the Pra River.
He said the mining operations of the company are polluting the River making it difficult and more expensive for the Ghana Water Company to purify water for human consumption.
Mr Gyan said the law does not permit foreigners to engage in small scale mining.
Mr Prince Baidoo, Managing Director of the company said it has been licensed from the Mineral Commission to undertake mineral exploration.
He said the company, which started operating three months ago, intended to obtain licence for mining when gold deposits are found on the concession.
Mr Baidoo said the foreigners were technical assistants who are assisting in the operations of the company.
He said the company has a 47- kilometre square concession and denied that it is driving farmers from their farms.