Modern Ghana logo

FEATURED: Are Muslims Victims Or Promoters Of Terrorism?...

28.12.2007 General News

WACAM supports call for review of mining law


The Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), has expressed support for the call by a traditional ruler for the review of the Mineral Law, Act 703 of 2006, which, in his view, is not in the interest of the nation.

WACAM said it also agreed with Osagyefo Oseadeyeyo Agyeman Badu II, Omanhene of Dormaa Traditional Area that, the 10 percent of total profits accruing from mining operations to the state was unacceptable.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Friday, Mr. Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director, WACAM, said that, the holiday tax on equipment imported by mining companies for the first five years was also inimical, considering, among other things, the environmental hazards caused by mining operations.

He said the spillage of cyanide into rivers which destroyed water bodies and poisoned rivers which were the main source of drinking water as well as the displacement of communities resulting from acquisition of mining lands strengthened the need for a review.

Mr Owusu-Koranteng said; "a report of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) give credence to the call because it revealed that only five percent of the total one billion US dollars revenue accrued from mining is retained in Ghana, which is also cheating."

Furthermore, he said, the law on compensation does not allow affected communities to seek redress direct from the high court in respect of low compensation unless they first petitioned the Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources' adding, "that also allows mining companies to maximize profit."

Mr Owusu-Korranteng said, for instance, a major mining company pays 7.9 Ghana Cedis in respect of cutting off cocoa trees which had economic life between 40-50 years and that affects the farmer because his or her livelihood and education of children depended on earnings from yields of cocoa trees.

He said because cocoa plantations are more sustainable than mining, government should consider the economic advantage of the review and act without delay.

Mr Owusu-Koranteng commended the Omanhene for speaking out boldly on the issue of national importance.

Source: GNA