The Ghana Chamber of Mines has confirmed the status of Newmont Ghana Limited in the country.
According to the chamber, the company has duly acquired a mining licence and fulfilled all the necessary regulatory requirements needed to operate as a legitimate mining firm.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemanu Koney, confirmed this to the Daily Graphic in reaction to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy chairman’s remarks accusing Newmont of operating illegally in its Akyem concessions.
Dr Kwabena Donkor had claimed that Newmont’s mining lease had not been ratified by Parliament and, therefore, described the mining company as a “large-scale galamsey operator”.
“We find it difficult to understand why a credible mining company will be labelled as a galamsey operator and become a target of attacks on the basis that its lease agreement has not been ratified by Parliament,” Mr Koney said.
He said, “our concern is that the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy ostensibly led by the chairman, has been going on about the fact that some particular mining companies are engaged in large-scale galamsey. W take a very strong exception to the statement because, as far as we are concerned, the mining company has satisfied all requirements of the state prior to commencing operations”.
“What is required of a mining company to start operations whether mining lease, environmental permit, operating permit, they have secured all these permits,” he said, and added, “Yes, the leases of the company have not been presented to Parliament. He may have a point in the fact that they have not been presented to Parliament, but that doesn’t make the operations of the company illegal or a galamsey”.
Mr Koney said, “If you look at the regulations, all the requirements have been met by the company. No legitimate mine operates in this country without an operating permit, and that is given by the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission and that would not be given without an environmental permit.”
He said as far as the chamber was concerned, no large-scale member of the Chamber of Mines was actually involved in illegal mining as Dr Kwabena Donkor would want the world to believe.
He has, therefore, asked the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy to direct its frustrations for the flaws in meeting a constitutional requirement to the appropriate bodies.
Source: Daily Graphic