Cease your mining operations in the Tano Forest – Lands Minister orders Chairman Wontumi’s company

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has with, immediate effect, ordered the Forestry Commission to stop Akonta Mining Company from operating in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.

Samuel Abu Jinapor

According to a statement issued by the Public Affairs of the Ministry on Friday, September 30, 2022, the Company owned by the ruling New Patriotic Party Chairman for Ashanti Region, Antwi Boasiako alias Wontumi has been engaging in mining activities in the forest without a permit.

“The attention of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been drawn to publications about certain operations by Akonta Mining Limited in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality in the Western Region.

“Records available to the Ministry shows that while Akonta Mining Ltd has a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, the company has no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve,” the statement said.

According to the Ministry, while Akonta Mining Company had applied for a permit to mine in the said forest reserve, the Minister had yet to give approval to any such application hence rendering the activities of the firm in the said forest reserve illegal.

“Our records show that Akonta Mining Ltd, on 25 August, 2022, applied for a Mining Lease to undertake mining operations in the said Forest Reserve. By a Ministerial Directive, all reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploratory activities in Forest Reserves in the country are suspended, except in exceptional circumstances. Although this directive does not affect mining in Forest Reserves, Akonta Mining Limited’s application has not been determined. Accordingly, any alleged activity being undertaken by the company in the Forest Reserve is illegal.

“The Hon. Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has, therefore, directed the Forestry Commission to, forthwith, ensure that the company does not carry out any operation in the Forest and to take the necessary action against any person found culpable in this matter,” the statement added.

The practice of galamsey activities contributes tremendously to the local economy of the communities within which the practice is conducted.

The number of galamseyers in Ghana is unknown but believed to be from 20,000 to 50,000, including thousands from China.

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