The Media Advocacy for Sustainable Environment, has called on government to clarify whether the Sheini Iron Ore deposit in the Tatale District of the Northern Region, has been given out as a concession or not.
The group said there are speculations that government had given out one of the important, strategic and valuable assets of the people of the Region without the involvement of the chiefs and the local folks.
Mr Francis Balikawu Npong, Co-ordinator of the group, who addressed a media conference in Tamale, asked government to disclose the identity of the company that received the concession, its managers, and how the selection procedure was done if the public speculation is true.
He called for transparency and adequate consultation with the local people and other stakeholders to promote peace and development.
Mr Npong explained that the extraction of minerals, when handled transparently, could generate revenue for the area and the nation.
He said information gathered by the group indicated that the ore was discovered in the area in the 1960s and that exploration test confirmed it was one of the finest ores in Africa.
“Taking cue from what has happened and currently happening at communities where gold and bauxite are being mined in the south, we are concerned about the wanton destruction of natural vegetation and water bodies, that is why we want a fair deal to avoid such occurrence,” he said.
Alhaji Inusa Fuseini, Minister of Lands and Natural Resource, told the Ghana News Agency that the Sheini Iron Ore, a concession at Kyebi as well as three others had been given out to a company.
“To the best of my knowledge, that concession had already been given to a certain company before I was appointed a Minister,” he said.
He said it formed part of the national diversification promotion and that the company had commenced studies to find out the quantity of minerals.
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