Minerals Commission Debunks False Claims Against Lands Minister

By Gifty Arthur

The Minerals Commission, has countered claims by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bole-Bamboi constituency in the Savannah Region, Yusif Sulemana, that the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor, granted mining concessions to foreign entities without proper consultations.

A statement issued by the Commission, in defence of the Minister, said the claims by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker, were “false, baseless and unfounded”.

Dated June 24, and signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commission, Martin K. Ayisi, the statement said, under the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and the Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2176) law, no mineral right is granted without consultations with the necessary stakeholders.

Mr Ayisi, said “In addition to the Gazette notification, adequate stakeholder engagements are held, particularly, with the Chiefs and people of the communities, where these mining operations will take place.

Indeed, in a letter dated October 11, 2022, and addressed to the Commission from the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, the Hon. Minister, reinforced the necessity of these engagements, and directed the Commission to “ensure that every application for a mineral right is formally brought to the attention of the relevant paramount chief, Regional Minister and MMDCE for the area and seek their views on the application before any recommendation for the grant of a mineral right.”

The Bole-Bamboi MP, while accusing the sector minister on the floor of Parliament, said the lack of consultation before granting mining concessions to foreign companies, led to recent tension in the Bole area between residents and the mining companies.

He stated that, some New Patriotic Party (NPP) executives, were reportedly assaulted by soldiers guarding these mining sites.

“It is an issue that we are all worried about. It’s on record that from the beginning of our constituency, that is Bamboi, and to the end of it, has plenty mineral companies on both the right and left sides of the road and so of course, we have some galamsey activities going on there.”

According to the MP, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, issued licenses to only four small-scale mining companies since February, while granting land to over seven large-scale miners without engagement with stakeholders.

Mr Sulemana, also claimed it was only the NPP executives who were given the “juicy” places to do their illegal mining operation, popularly known as galamsey.

He added that the vice chairman of the NPP and the secretary, were hospitalized, following the brutalization by the military.

But reacting to the development, the Minerals Commission, said the claims by the NDC MP that there were seven large scale mining companies, was also false.

According to the Commission, there were four of such companies that hold mineral rights in the Bole-Bamboi Constituency; namely, Ghana Manganese Company Limited, Tradex Global Limited, P. Charn Ghana Limited, and JH Resources Exploration Ghana Company Limited.

While, providing details on each of the four large scale mining companies, the Commission said “It is, also, important to note that two of these companies, Tradex Global Limited and P. Charn Ghana Limited, are wholly owned Ghanaian companies.

The MP’s allegation that these lands, have been granted to only foreigners is, thus, false”.

The statement said, “The area where the confrontation narrated by the Hon. MP occurred, falls within the concession of JH Resources.

Prior to the granting of the prospecting licence to JH Resources in 2019, adequate consultations and stakeholder engagements, were held with the communities and all relevant groups, including the Chiefs and People of the affected communities”.

The Commission, explained that, subsequent to the granting of the prospecting licences, JH Resources, further engaged the communities, and on May 29, 2021, the company signed a Social Responsibility Agreement with the Sonyor Community and the Chiefs and people of the Sonyor Local Community, covering Sonyor, Kablima, Tuntumba, Cluff, Kontonre, Bumbire, all within the Sonyor Traditional Area in the Savannah Region, where JH Resources, has its mineral rights.

The minerals regulatory body, said it was, therefore false for anyone to allege that the Chiefs and people of these communities are unaware of the operations of JH Resources in these areas.

Further, and in any event, the Commission, emphasized that these licenses are for exploration purposes only, that is, reconnaissance and prospecting, and do not constitute a licence to mine. It is, thus, untrue for anyone to allege that the Minister has granted licences to foreigners to mine in the area.

According to the Commission, as noted by the Minister, there are illegal mining activities in the areas which, occasionally, result in clashes between the licensed companies and the illegal miners.

He said this is not peculiar to the Bole-Bamboi Constituency or the Savannah Region, but a phenomenon, which occurs in many mining areas, for which government is working to clamp down.

As part of measures to deal with illegal mining, he noted that the government is encouraging responsible and environmentally-sound small scale mining operations.

“As noted by the Hon. MP, a number of small-scale mining licences have been granted to deserving applicants to mine responsibly, including two (2) Community Mining Schemes in Tinga. A number of small-scale licence applications are, also, pending at the Commission, which the Commission is reviewing to make the necessary recommendations to the Minister, in accordance with Act 703 and L.I. 2176”.


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