Konongo (Ash), June 15, GNA - Owere Mines, a gold mining company in the Asante-Akim North Municipality, has embarked on a public relations program to inform and involve the local people in its operations.
As part of the programme, a two-day workshop has been held for chiefs and opinion leaders from all the 18 communities within the area of operation.
The aim of the program is to help deepen their understanding of the regulations governing the activities of the company and thereby prevent confrontations that often occur between mining companies and the indigenous communities.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr Felix Baiden Amisah, a Senior Mines Inspector of the Minerals Commission, said every mineral in its raw state was the property of the State and vested in the President to be held in trust for all Ghanaians.
He said though a person may have the surface right to the land under which minerals are deposited, it should be recognized that only the holder of the mineral right could extract the mineral under the Mineral and Mining Act 703 of 2006.
Mr Amisah said this gives the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources the right to grant, revoke or suspend a mineral right on the recommendation of the Minerals Commission.
He said parliament would soon come out with a new law to increase the stake of land owners and appealed to the people to co-operate with the company in its operations.
Mr Seth Brantuo, the Mines Manager, said there had been an invasion of the company's concession by illegal miners and appealed to the chiefs to help rein them in.
He said the company was happy to work with farmers desirous of cultivating crops within the concession of the mines.
Mr Brantuo said there were plans to introduce an initiative that would allow portions of the mining concession to be allocated to groups for small scale mining to help control the activities of the illegal miners.