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18.04.2006 Business & Finance

I am not anti-mining - Okyenhene


Accra, May 18, GNA - Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyehene, on Thursday said he was not anti-mining, but had been acting as an advocate for the State to ensure that mining was done in a sustainable manner that benefited the community and the State.

He reiterated that the laws of the State empowered the Government to own all resources within the land, with what was on the surface belonging to the chiefs and people of the area.

Okyenhene was answering a question on his stand on the mining of bauxite at the Atiwa Forest Reserve in the Eastern Region at a press conference held in Accra on the "Status Report on Financing Mechanism for Plantation Development and Update on Fund Board Activities." He said although he could not challenge the Government in its quest for development, his plea was that mining should be done in a sustainable way that would benefit both the community and the State. "Mining began in Ghana in 1886, the same year that it started in Johannesburg, South Africa, but the mining towns of Prestea and Obuasi are nothing compared to Johannesburg in terms of development and wealth acquisition.

"I do not want my people to suffer the same fate that has befallen the people of Prestea and Obuasi. I want them to be able to share in the wealth that would accrue from the mining venture that would end up destroying their farm lands and forest," he said.

The Okyenhene called on Ghanaians to support the effort of the Government in its quest to bring development to the country.