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17.08.2004 Regional News

Resolute Amansie Limited reclaims land destroyed by mining activities

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Manso-Nkran (Ash), Aug 17, GNA- Resolute Amansie Limited (RAL), at Manso-Nkran in the Amansie West District, has reclaimed about 197 hectares out of the 396 hectares of land it had destroyed through mining operations.

The company has also converted open pits into fish ponds, constructed access roads and housing units, as parts of efforts to salvage about 162 hectares of the mining concession.

Mr Randy Barnes, Operations Manager of RAL made this known when a team from the Council of State, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Amansie West District Assembly, visited the premises of the company to assess the impact of mining activities on the environment.

The team was also interested in how the company was responding to its social obligations to the communities in which it operate. The team was made up of Nana Prah Agyensaim VI and Dr Kofi Amanor Owusu-Ansah, members of the Council of State, Miss Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Brigadier-General Richardson Baiden, Commissioner of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service and Mr Ben Kwakye-Adeefe, District Chief Executive for Amansie West.

Mr Barnes said, the company had planted 120 species of trees seedlings and established a citronella plant at Manso-Nkran. He said the company had also formed cooperative groups for fish farming, vegetable farming, bee keeping, snail farming, piggery, oil palm and production of grass-cutter and had introduced Self- Help Education (SHE) in the communities to train volunteers in first aid administration.

Speaking to newsmen after the tour, Nana Agyensaim explained that the tour was necessitated by numerous complaints against the big mining companies for either degrading the environment or polluting water sources.

Nana Agyensaim said the team had found out that the mining companies were behaving very responsibly in contrast to the complaints.

He said the team was enthused about the way the companies had reclaimed lands and the amount of money they have invested to ensure damage repair after any accident.

The companies have provided alternative livelihood projects to the communities whose lands have been degraded. Nana Agyensaim asked district assemblies in the area to educate the communities on the operations of mining companies to guard against conflicts.

Dr Owusu-Ansah said the team did not find evidence of cyanide spillage, explaining that mining companies were trying to assist host communities on waste management.

Miss Aryee asked the media to be circumspect in their reportage about mining companies since the sector contributed a lot to the economy.

She said any negative reportage on mining would have adverse effect on the sector.

The team had earlier visited Nsuta, Iduaprim, Bogoso, Tarkwa, Obuasi, Bibiani and Awaso.