Shaanxi Mining Company refutes allegation
The Shaanxi Mining Company Limited, a subsidiary of China Gold Resources Group Company Limited which is providing technical mining support services to two small scale mining groups at Gbane, has refuted allegations that their activities pollute the White Volta River and other water bodies in the area.
The two registered mining groups are the Yenyeya and Porbotaaba small scale mining groups.
People of the area have complained that mining activities of the Company were polluting the White Volta and other water bodies in the area.
Conducting a team of Journalists to the mining sites of the Company, the Human Resource Manager, Mr Joseph Anokye, said the allegation was false and also a calculated attempt to tarnish the image of the Company.
Journalists were taken to the Tallying dam which is the receptacle of all the Company’s waste and this is one of the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mr Anokye said the Company had operated within the legal requirements and that EPA permit condition did not allow the use of cyanide to facilitate the processing because of its health implications.
The Safety Engineer of the Company said the Company uses “alcoholic salt” instead of cyanide.
He said the wastage that was being damped and confined in the Tallying Dam was used in land reclamation as per the conditions of the EIA permits.
In an interview with the Regional Director of the EPA, Mr. Asher Nkegbe, he said there was no way his outfit would allow any mining company to violate EPA regulations.
He said the activities of the Mining Company did not pollute the White Volta River and other water bodies and the White Volta River and other water bodies are nowhere near the company’s mining sites.
Mr Nkegbe said White Volta River is 4.84 kilometers away from the company and the only river in the area known as Kulubiliga is also 1.29 kilometres away.
As part of the permit condition, the two small scale mining companies are expected to conduct periodic water quality analysis to conform with the World Health Organization standards and this is to ensure that most of the rivers and streams which serve as sources of drinking water for communities downstream are not polluted.
He said in 2015, the Agency will establish contact groups in communities and will be given orientation to equip them to report to the EPA if they suspect any foul play by any of the small scale mining companies including illegal miners.