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03.05.2004 Business & Finance

Bonte Gold Mines liquidated

By Chronicle
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… Huge indebtedness to creditors cited

Bonte Gold Mines (BGM), an alluvial goldmine which operated on a 48 square kilometer concession at Bontefufuo in the Amansie West district since 1994 has been liquidated. The liquidation is as a result of a court order following a case against the company by shareholders and creditors.

The company owes the Electricity Company of Ghana over ¢950 million and several billions of cedis to Volvo Company Limited and Ghana Telecom.

BGM is also reported to have failed to honour its social responsibility agreement with communities in which it operated. It has also defaulted in the payment of the property rates and other social commitments to the two District Assemblies.

On assessing the situation at the Mine site last April 1, 2004, the liquidators observed that BGM had destroyed a large stretch of fertile land belonging to Esaase, Tetekaso, Aboabo, Tetrem, Mpatuam, Bonteso, Jeninso and Akataniase.

The official liquidation team from the Registrar General's department headed by Mr. Ohene Obeng has since March 31, 2004 informed the over 400 workforce about the liquidation.

During an encounter by management and the liquidation team, the workers nearly lynched the acting general Manager, Mr. Michael Turkson.

Following, the local security has been beefed up with soldiers from the fourth battalion infantry and police from the Buffalo unit of the Ghana Police Service in Kumasi. He was saved by the timely intervention of the District Chief Executive, Mr. Ben Kwakye Adeefe.

The workers, who have presented a 7-point resolution to the liquidators for consideration, have expressed surprise at the unfortunate development for the fact that BGM was producing large quantities of quality gold bars weekly.

The company had exploited about 30% of the total concession and was producing between 76,000 and 90,000 ounces of gold. BGM had as at 2002 acquired another concession at Kibi in the Eastern region.

Meanwhile, the DCE has recommended that BGM should pay all outstanding debts to the District Assemblies as well as compensation to affected individuals.

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