Communities kick against mining by CAYCO Ghana; demand assurances

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Residents and chiefs of two communities – Topremang and Adankrono – in the Denkyembour District in the Eastern Region demand an appropriate compensation package and job assurance memorandum of understanding before they will allow mining to commence in their community.

They have warned anything short of that would be met with resistance.

They expressed these sentiments at a public hearing on environmental impact held by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at Topremang.

Mining firm CAYCO Ghana intends to engage in mining at the Topremang concession and surrounding environs.

It would resort to alluvial mining for diamond and gold on a concession that covers a total land area of 16.07 square kilometres.

This includes an old operation site of 6.07 square meter portion and east extension of 10.0 square kilometres.

The Environmental Protection Agency is mandated by the Act 1994 ( Act 490) and LI 1652 to ensure compliance in planning and execution of all development activities with the environment impact assessment procedures in order to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in the country.

It also has the responsibility of involving the public in the review of environmental impact statements.

At the public hearing, several residents and chiefs of the earmarked communities were not enthused about the intended mining.

They pointed to irresponsible mining by same firm years ago, failure to recruit more indigenes for job opportunities and fear of losing their cocoa farms.

“We didn’t see any development in our area when they came in first, our children are not employed. We don’t need them in our community,” a resident said.

Another added: “They will not consider us any job. We need to know how much they will pay for each land they take.”

Managing Engineer Felix Owusu-Agyemang, the director of the mining firm, gave assurances and pledged to abide by the laws.

“We will source labour from the community. We intend to help with developmental projects through our corporate responsibility.”

The Deputy Director of the EPA, Haron Harrison Afful, says the regulator would rely on the new laws to hold the firm accountable and hope no stalemate occurs.

By Yvonne Neequaye|3news.com|Ghana

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