Newmont Akyem Project, has won the hearts and minds of the chiefs and people at its proposed mining site at New Abirem, in the Eastern Region to pursue its operations in the area.
The community has therefore urged Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources who was on a visit to the area, in the Birim North District, to assist the company to get the necessary permit to commence business.
The minister was in the area to ascertain the proposed operations of the company in the Adjenua Bepo Forest Reserve, following the concerns raised by some advocacy groups about the dangers such activities could pose to the ecology.
A resolution presented by the chiefs and people to Alhaji Dauda said there were nine forest reserves besides the Adjenua Bepo forest reserve with the approximate range of between two to 20 kilometres among them.
“The nine… reserves are bigger in size and richer in trees and must be able to cater for the needs of the people and atone for the losses one might anticipate,” the resolution said.
It said in 1975, the Forest Services Division selected the Adjenua Bepo Forest Reserve as Taungya and a survey conducted by Conservation International recently also rated it as secondary forest and not virgin as others may claim.
“Since the forest in question is degraded and has lost its value, we are appealing to you to grant Newmont the access to mine in a portion they have applied for”.
The resolution argued that once it had been established that there is gold deposit in the forest, even if Newmont is denied the opportunity to mine, illegal miners (Galamsey) will find all possible means to operate with disastrous consequences.
“What we are saying is that we know and believe that Newmont has the capacity and commitment to deal with all the environmental and societal impacts that are associated with mining better than these illegal operators, hence our call on you to support the company to operate.”
The resolution said the mining operations would open the area to development.
It observed that though Newmont had not started operations, it had forged partnership with the District Assembly leading to the provision of potable water to some communities, renovation and construction of new school buildings, modern toilet facility among other things.
The resolution appealed to the minister to ignore the propaganda being peddled around and grant the company the Mining Lease for the smooth take off of the project.
Alhaji Dauda said he was in the town to study the situation on the ground to make it possible for him to take the correct decision on the matter.
Obrempong Affum Afronten IV, Acting President of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Nana Akua Asantewa III, Paramount Queen, Kotoku Traditional Area, Osabarima Owusu Gyamadu, Member of the Council of State, Nana Amoh Kyeretwie, Abiremhene and Nana Kwadwo Amoh II, Ntronanghene, were among the chiefs who signed the resolution.
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