The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with other major stakeholders in the Mining industry have held a day’s public hearing on a proposed Alluvial Mining in the upper part of the Wassa forest reserve in the Western North Region.
ONEX international Company Limited, has a mining lease to mine in the area for ten years.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency after the public hearing, Mr Michael Ali Sandow, Acting Director Mining Department of the Environmental Protection Agency said the EPA would continue to play it supervisory and regulatory role to ensure ONEX Company complied with laid down rules and regulations governing responsible Mining.
He reiterated that EPA would embark on effective monitoring to ensure the negative impact of mining would not affect residents in the catchment areas.
The acting Director of Mining also assured that the liaison team; the EPA, Forestry Commission, the Minerals Commission, the Inspectorate Division, Ghana Geological, Chamber of Mines and the Water Resources Commission would ensure they do the right thing and encouraged more Ghanaians to go into Alluvial Mining.
He said Mining companies that failed to follow laid down rules and regulations would either be fined or have their license revoked.
Mr Morris Kwaku Amatey, of Green Earth Consultancy, Consultant to ONEX Company explained to the gathering that the Company had 10.6 kilometers lease and that the Company would not do blasting and would not use any chemical in their operations.
He continued that the Company was expecting an additional 3,146.8 Kilometers in the concession and the work would be done in three phases comprising preconstruction through to construction and operational phase.
He assured the Company would procure locally and adhere to content principles and other rules and regulations regarding the extractive sector.
Mr Mohammed Yahaya, Coordinating Director, Bibiani Anwhiaso Bekwai Municipal Assembly, said the Municipal Assembly identified with the concerns raised by the community and promised to ensure that the company fulfilled all promises made.
He was of the view that the presence of the company would help reduce the unemployment rate in the area.
Nana Kwadwo Twum II, Chief of Hemejibre and Kontihene for Sefwi-Bekwai traditional area tasked the Environmental Protection Agency to constantly monitor their activities to ensure proper reclamation exercise.
Nana Kwasi Kankah,chief of Ankwoaso lauded EPA and the company for the public hearing and appealed to opinion leaders in the five catchment communities to allow the company to begin operations.
Some of the residents from Homejibre, Agyakamanso,Kogyina,Muoho and Akwoaso in an interview with the Ghana News Agency welcomed the decision to mine in the area since according to them, the mining company would help reduce unemployment and boost the local economy.
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