Land Minister stops Chairman Wontumi’s Akonta Mining company from mining in Tano forest reserve

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With immediate effect, Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has directed the Forestry Commission to prohibit Akonta Mining Company from operating in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.

In accordance with a statement released by the Ministry’s Public Affairs on Friday, September 30, 2022, the Company controlled by Antwi Boasiako, alias Wontumi, the chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party for the Ashanti Region, has been illegally mining in the forest.

Although Akonta Mining Company requested a licence to mine in the specified forest reserve, the Ministry claims that the Minister has not yet approved any such application, making the company’s operations in the specified forest reserve illegal.

The communities in which galamsey activities are practiced benefit greatly from the practice’s local economic impact.

Unknown, but estimated to be between 20,000 and 50,000 galamseyers in Ghana, including many from China.

“Our records show that Akonta Mining Ltd, on 25 August, 2022, applied for a Mining Lease to undertake mining operations in the said Forest Reserve. By a Ministerial Directive, all reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploratory activities in Forest Reserves in the country are suspended, except in exceptional circumstances. Although this directive does not affect mining in Forest Reserves, Akonta Mining Limited’s application has not been determined. Accordingly, any alleged activity being undertaken by the company in the Forest Reserve is illegal.

Consequently, the statement continued, “The Hon. Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has asked the Forestry Commission to, forthwith, ensure that the corporation does not carry out any operations in the Forest and to take the required action against any person found culpable in this situation.”

 

Read the full statement by the Ministry below:

MINISTER DIRECTS FORESTRY COMMISSION TO HALT AKONTA MINING LIMITED’S OPERATIONS IN THE TANO NIMIRI FOREST RESERVE

The attention of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been drawn to publications about certain operations by Akonta Mining Limited in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality in the Western Region.

Records available to the Ministry shows that while Akonta Mining Ltd has a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, the company has no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.

Our records show that Akonta Mining Ltd, on 25th August, 2022, applied for a Mining Lease to undertake mining operations in the said Forest Reserve. By a Ministerial Directive, all reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploratory activities in Forest Reserves in the country are suspended, except in exceptional circumstances. Although this directive does not affect mining in Forest Reserves, Akonta Mining Limited’s application has not been determined.

Accordingly, any alleged activity being undertaken by the company in the Forest Reserve is illegal.

The Hon. Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has, therefore, directed the Forestry Commission to, forthwith, ensure that the company does not carry out any operation in the Forest and to take the necessary action against any person found culpable in this matter.

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources remains committed to the fight against illegal mining, with integrity and transparency, and assures the general public that it will continue to work with the relevant agencies and all stakeholders to come to grips with this age-old galamsey menace.

END
ISSUED BY:
THE PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT MINISTRY OF LANDS AND NATURAL RESOURCES
30TH SEPTEMBER, 2022.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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