Accra, Feb. 2, GNA - Dr Tony Aubyn, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Chamber of Mines, has admonished the media to refrain from the unchecked stories some of them put out there to tarnish the image of mining companies.
Speaking to Ghana News Agency at the sideline of a two-day Canadian Trade Mission in Accra, he suggested the need for painstaking background checks for the requisite information before passing judgment.
He noted that the licensed and approved mining companies are doing genuine business in Ghana.
Dr Aubyn strongly defended the operations of the recognised mining companies and described them as 'abiders of the regulatory and statutory framework set out by the government and the agencies involved'.
He asked government to check the activities of illegal miners referred to as 'Galamsey' and the small scale Chinese operators who pose a great danger to the people and the environment.
Dr Aubyn asked: 'How can renowned companies like Ashanti Gold or Newmont flout mining regulations to tarnish their hard-won international image?'
He said before a mining company begins operation in Ghana, it is made to sign series of legal documents by the government and related agencies.
Commenting on the issue of environmental degradation, he said the laws are clear without any ambiguity so it would be extremely difficult for any mining company to contravene it with impudence.
He said Environmental Protection Agency, Water Commission, Minerals Commission, Chamber of Mines and the district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies in conjunction with National Security are 'red alert breathing hard on the companies neck to ensure strict compliance and shows no mercy for them on this crucial issue'.