Chiefs bare teeth at mining firm over neglect

Some Chiefs in Asante-Akim Central are up in arms with Owere Mines, a mining firm operating in the Municipality for years, for neglect and non-payment of royalties.

The chiefs, whose communities are located within the concession of the company, said the operations of the mine, had brought nothing but hardship to the indigenes as road network in the areas continue to deteriorate.

The company, they also claim, had been encouraging illegal mining by allocating portions of its concession to individuals for illegal mining.

They made the allegations at a town hall meeting to discuss the negative effects of illegal mining at Patrensah near Konongo.

The meeting was organized by the Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with funding from STAR-Ghana.

It was attended by chiefs, assembly members, small-scale miners, land owners, students as well as representatives of the Municipal Assembly and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Nana Owusu Banahene, the Chief of Dwease, said the activities of the company were inimical to the people instead of improving their lives.

Bad roads and lack of social amenities in the communities after years of operating in the area was an indictment on the reputation of the company, he noted.

He said the company had even failed to offer scholarships to children from the communities, a common practice by virtually all well established mining firms.

He entreated government to take a look at the possibility to revoke the license of the company, suggesting that, it could bring in other investors to take over the concession under the One District One Factory policy.

Nana Obrane Frimpong, the Chief of Kwakoko bemoaned the failure of the company to pay royalties to the chiefs.

He called for the intervention of government to ensure that the company honoured its social responsibility to the communities.

Source: GNA

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