Small-scale mining groups at the Gbane Community in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region have appealed to the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Mining and Inspectorate Division not to grant a permit to Shanxi Mining Company Limited (SMCL) to go into large-scale mining in the area.
The Shanxi Mining Company Limited which was providing mining support service to Yenyaya Mining Group and Pubortaaba Mining Group are seeking permit to go into large-scale mining in the area where the small-scale miners are operating.
The small-scale mining groups, which include the Unique Mining Group and the Nalamtaaba Mining Group, made the call when a consultant engaged them about the interest expressed by the Shanxi Mining Company Limited to go into large-scale mining in the area.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nalamtaaba Mining Group, Mr Polo Boyark, who made the call on behalf of the small-scale mining groups on Saturday, after the engagement with the consultant, stated that until proper consultation and proper agreement were reached between the Shanxi Mining Company Limited and the small-scale mining groups, the mining regulatory bodies should not grant permit to SMCL to mine on their concessions.
According to the small-scale mining groups they had all acquired the necessary mining permits and therefore would not succumb to any powers that would want to circumvent the laws to allow the Shanxi Mining Company Limited to mine on their concessions without the proper engagement and agreement.
“We will not sit down and allow a foreign mining company to threaten our very livelihoods which we have been depending on for very long years. Unless the proper thing is done, by bringing all of us the small-scale mining groups to sit down and dialogue with the Shanxi Mining Company Limited.”
The group, who threatened that they would resist any attempt if their demand and interest were not met, called on the mining regulatory bodies to ensure that their request were followed before the consideration of granting the Shanxi Mining Company Limited to go into large scale mining.
The Shanxi Mining Company Limited entered into a partnership with the Yenyaya Mining Group and Pubortaaba Mining Group who had legally acquired their concessions to provide mining support service to the two small-scale mining groups.
The Chief Executive Officer of Yenyaya Mining Group, Mr Charles Nadanbon was selected among small-scale mining groups by the government in 2008 to go to China and learn on sustainable mining activities that persuaded and brought the Chinese Mining Company to Ghana, specifically the Gbane community.
The company has been providing mining support services to these small-scale mining groups until recently when the company expressed interest to go into large-scale mining, hence the consultant engaging the small-scale mining groups at Gbane.