Residents, chiefs to demonstrate against non-payment of royalties

Angry youth and chiefs from 17 communities within the Asante Akim Central Municipality of the Ashanti Region have threatened to lead their people on a massive demonstration against Owere Mines Limited over unpaid royalties  and other benefits due them.

According to them, the company since 2010 has not paid the chiefs any royalties for them to carry out developmental projects.

The chiefs together with the Konongo Youth Association say all efforts to get the Owere Mines Limited to get the royalties have proved futile.

Secretary of the group, Asare Bediako, appealed to government to terminate any contract it has that can contribute to the development of the area.

“As far as compensation is concerned, the company does not pay grand compensation, life-expectancy of crops and alternative livelihood of affected land owners as stated by mining Act 2006, article 73 and 74”.

But Manager of Owere Mines, Kofi Nti, denied the allegations leveled against them. According to him, the company has duly paid royalties to a tune of about 177 million cedis to the internal  revenue service.

“This money has been paid and we have receipts to that effect; we have met with the chiefs and the Municipal Assembly including the MCE; and given them receipt details to follow up and check and be sure. But up to date, nobody has educated the community or informed the youth that the amounts have been paid and that’s why this issue keeps coming up” he explained.

The company stopped mining operations in 2012 and said it was only carrying out care and maintenance as well as tests on its concessions.

But barring any unforeseen hitches, the company would commence mining in two years time and resume the payment of royalties.

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