EPA orders mining firm to halt operations

miningThe Environmental Protect ion Agency (EPA) has directed the Romex Mining Ghana Limited based in the Upper Denkyira District of the Central Region to halt its operations until further notice.

According to the EPA, its field monitoring of the company’s activities showed that the company had carried out its operations according to best practices, but had violated certain conditions in their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Mr Michael Sandow Ali, Deputy Director, Mining Department of the EPA, gave the warning after officials of the EPA had toured the mining site to enforce its Compliance Order.

Romex Mining Company is a joint venture between Canadian Investors and their Ghanaian counterpart but the company’s ownership has changed three times since it started operations in December 2012.

Mr Sandow Ali also stated that Romex Mining Ltd, which was issued with the permit to start operations was sold to Aburi Alluvial Goldfield Ltd and later to FCMI Accra Ltd without the knowledge of the EPA and as such do not know which of the companies is currently doing the mining.

He noted that though Romex Ltd was issued with the permit to begin operations, it is not the one doing the actual mining.

However, receipts, in terms of revenue to the country are in the name of Romex Ltd.

He said Romex Ltd had also failed to post their reclamation bond, six months into their operations, thus violating the law.

Mr Sandow Ali further noted that, according to the permit, Romex Ltd was supposed to build a pond and make a diversion of the Ahensu stream so that the washing of the ore does not go back into the main river to affect the inhabitants downstream, which they also failed to do.

He said the action taken by the EPA was for the company to suspend its operations, adding that, this could serve as an example to other mining companies.

He said the Ashanti and Central Regional offices of the EPA have been tasked to go to the field and monitor whether the company would violate the order, adding that, if the company defies the directives the EPA would bring further sanctions against them.

Mr Adenortey Plahar, Chief Financial Officer, Fredmac Commodities Market International (FCMI) stated that their company took over from Aburi Alluvial Goldfields Ltd  because they failed to meet their obligation to the FCMI.

He said FCMI took the matter to court and won the case and became the new owner of the company.

He said FCMI took over the company only about a month ago and saw the mess created by the previous owners and out of their volition notified the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to come and assess the situation.

Mr Plahar stated that the FCMI has been able to post $100,000 out of the $400,000 reclamation bond, adding that, if they are unable to meet the rest of the requirement they might have to forfeit the $100,000.

Mr Mahamadu Salifu, Head of Mining, FCMI Ltd admitted that the company has not been able to set aside the top soil for the reclamation because they lack the requisite equipment.

He said the company took over only about a month ago and asked for time to fix the problem, adding that, the current problem can be resolved.

Source: GNA

1 Comment
  1. Ruth Osei says

    Mr. Plahar is a big liar.mHe was the CFO under Aburi Goldfields and all the management staff of FCMI served under Aburi Goldfields in the same or different capacities.

    It must also be noted that FCMI has stake in the parent company of Aburi Goldfields. GNA must do proper investigation because this whole assertion of coming just over a month is just to try and throw dust into the eyes of the public and the minister.

    All the staff and management of FCMI were part of Aburi Goldfields so cannot be insulated from the responsibilities of Aburi Goldfields. This is how foreign nationals in collaboration with some Ghanaians plunder our resources under different company names so when responsibilities of these nature arises they can conveniently shift blame.

    GNA this report does not cover all the issues. Please investigate further and come again.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.