Minister Cracks Down On Chinese Mining Firm, Orders shutdown of Company
… As he orders temporary shutdown for blatant violation of mining laws & safety protocols
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Mining, George Mireku Duker, has taken a decisive action against Gang He Mining Company, a Chinese mining firm operating in the Wassa Akropong District in the Western Region, by ordering its immediate temporary shutdown.
The deputy minister, accompanied by some mining inspectors, was left with no choice but to issue this directive, after conducting a thorough inspection of the company at its premises on Friday, October 27, 2023.
Mr. Duker, who embarked on a tour of some large-scale mining firms last week, uncovered several violations in the company’s operations that could not be ignored.
He was particularly unhappy at the absence of essential safety protocols at the company, the non-utilization of granted concessions, and the blatant disregard for the nation’s mineral laws.
He was unhappy to learn that the company has not been able to develop its concessions and also not act in accordance with the tenets of their licence.
Addressing the management of the company during the tour, the deputy minister explained the temporary closure is a proactive step taken by him to prevent the company from complete collapse.
He noted that as a deputy minister, he has the responsibility to ensure the survival of the company, and the ban, which will last for six months, will allow the company to put in the right measures that will ensure its revival.
He explained that it is in the interest of the country that mining companies thrive in their operations and that the ministry, through the Minerals Commission, will collaborate with the management.
“Stop whatever you are doing, the ministry will write and invite you to Accra for us to guide you. Our intent is not to stop companies or frustrate investors but to guide investors to recoup their investments meaningfully. We are here to see Gang He operating to the optimum. If you can’t run me through safety protocols then it means the bases are not right.
“We want to see you operate profitably so that Ghanaians will have work to do. We don’t want the company to close down because you have Ghanaians working here and their livelihoods depend on you. We want to see you mining to meet international best practices,” he said.
He also urged the company to seek extra investment to enable it to develop the concessions it has been granted.
“It is very unfortunate and I don’t see why if ore grade isn’t giving that opportunity to be commercially viable, you can add and invest in technology that will make you economically viable. You can form synergies. Form synergies if you don’t have the capital to inject it into your mines to upgrade and lift your concessions.
“When we give you the license, we expect you to use the license to engage meaningfully. Operating meaningfully doesn’t depend on one person. It could fall on synergies. You could add some companies to add to what you have. We need more companies. It is not enough acquiring license all over. You can’t secure concessions and leave them. We won’t tolerate that,” he said.
The District Chief Executive of Wassa Akropong in the Western Region lamented the inability of the company to develop its huge concession.
He described the development as unfortunate, but assured of the preparedness of the assembly to help the company retool its operations and resume mining activities.