Atlantic Lithium says it’s ready for open discussions in the interest of responsible mining

Atlantic Lithium, an exploration development company, says it is ready to embrace open discussions and would cooperate with local communities and their leadership to mutually solve problems for responsible mining and preservation of the environment.

“As a company, we welcome the voice of the public in our operations, we acknowledge that our local communities and their leadership, and other stakeholders have key interests in the Ewoyaa Lithium Project in making it Ghana’s first lithium-producing mine.

“Fully mindful of the critical role of our stakeholders in the project activities, we welcome today’s dialogue, which is rated highly by the company,” the company said.

Mr Aaron Monver, Head of Operations at Atlantic Lithium registered the company’s commitment at the “scoping report and draft terms of reference for the proposed Ewoyaa lithium mining and processing project” to be carried by Barari DV Ghana Limited at Ewoyaa community.

The open forum organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was to allow the company and affected communities engage in open discussions, gather public opinions, prioritise concerns on issues associated with activities and collectively suggest practical solutions for mutual benefits.

The Ewoyaa Lithium Project would use open-pit methods involving drill, blast, load and haul operations to mine spodumene pegmatite deposits.

However, the project has progressed from the exploration phase to the development phase which entails construction, preparing permit applications and an Environmental Impact Statement and acquiring mining rights permits, although some exploration activities were ongoing.

Mr Monver emphasized that the fundamental principles of the company was conducting sustainable and responsible mining and that it was committed to using environmentally friendly technologies and approaches to ensure the maximum protection of the ecosystem.

The company had established systems and adopted technologies to constantly monitor the environmental standards to ensure that it was always within range to guarantee the safety of lives and property, he added.

On some key priorities of the project, Mr Monver noted that it had developed and implemented relevant guidelines, procedures, measures and plans to reduce and manage negative environmental, socio-economic, cultural, and human rights impacts of its activities on the environment, including biodiversity, and the socio-economic setting, both for the local communities and the company.

He said environmental and social performance standards had been developed to align with international and national standards with cognisance to existing cultural practices and values.

Additionally, it had been in constant consultation and engagement with stakeholders, particularly national regulators, traditional authorities and local communities, to identify and develop solutions to community concerns, complaints, needs and priorities.

It is also to design control measures to eliminate, reduce and mitigate or manage health, safety, environment and community risk issues well within acceptable norms; and work to optimise benefits.

 Atlantic Lithium he mentioned had over the seven years of exploratory activities, had been transparent, ensured inclusivity and acted in ways that was culturally appropriate in mining processes.

The Operations Manager re-assured the company’s commitment to the socio-economic development of communities within its catchment area which prioritises the engagement of local employees, contractors and service providers.

 He entreated the communities to position themselves to tap into the opportunities when available as it intended to implement development programmes to build the capacities of members of the local communities to be economically empowered and strategically positioned to take up some of the opportunities the company will create during its operations.

He revealed that the company was committed to creating a community development fund, which is in line with international and national standards and best practices, to support environmental and socio-economic development in the local communities.

 The fund is to be co-managed by community members and local stakeholders to enhance the responsiveness of development support to the developmental needs and aspirations of the communities.

He requested that local stakeholders provided the company with the needed support and partnership to ensure the effective execution of the tenets and goals of the community development fund.

Source: GNA

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