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Mampong chiefs oppose mining activities : Force Minerals Commission to withdraw application

BY: Nana Yaw Barimah
Daasebre Osei Bonsu II — Mamponghene
Daasebre Osei Bonsu II — Mamponghene

A decision by the Mampong Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region to prevent mining operations in the area has compelled the Minerals Commission not to receive or consider any application for mining in lands within the area.

Consequently, the Commission said an application for Active Target Natural Resources Limited to mine on a concession in the Traditional Area had been withdrawn.

A statement from the Minerals Commission to the Municipal Chief Executive of Mampong dated November 24, 2022, stated: “ The application in respect of Active Target Natural Resources Limited has been withdrawn.”

The Minerals Commission had earlier published an Application of Notice pending the application for mineral rights to allow Active Target Natural Resources Limited to mine in the Mampong Traditional area.

However, following the unyielding position of the Traditional Council led by the Omanhene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, the Minerals Commission retreated.

The Commission’s letter signed by its Chief Executive, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, and copied to the Mamponghene, said: “We note that Nananom have voiced their objection to any mineral activities or operations in the Mampong Traditional Area.”

Opposition

It was the position of the Traditional Council that it would not allow any mining activities to take place in the traditional area.

Consequently, Nananom at a meeting, called on the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to halt any plans by the Minerals Commission to undertake any mining activities within the Mampong Traditional Area.

The Mampong Traditional Council consists of Mampong and other towns, including Effiduasi, Jamasi, Ejura, Apaa, Akrofoso and Kyekyewere.

First letter rejected

The Kyirimfasohene, Nana Kwasi Kodua Akuoko II, who is also the Chairman of the Anti-Galamsey Committee in the Mampong Traditional Area, in a speech read on behalf of the Mamponghene, recalled that in 2021, the Minerals Commission wrote a letter to the council indicating that an area within the traditional area was to be given to a company for the mining of gold.

He said the Mamponghene, in a letter he sent to the Minerals Commission and copied to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Chief of Staff expressed his strong opposition to mining on his land.

“With the support of the government, the wish of Nana Mamponghene and Nananom of the Mampong Traditional Area was granted,” Nana Akuoko revealed.

Decision unchanged

Unexpectedly, Nana Akuoko further noted, on November 9, 2022, a letter again was received by the Council from the Mineral Commission on the same matter but emphasis was on surface mining, part of which read: “Expecting a reply from the Council within twenty-one days”.

Nana Kodua said: “Our decision remains unchanged, Nana Mamponghene and Nananom of the Mampong Traditional Area do not want any mining activities to occur on our land.”

He said the mining activity was to be undertaken close to a river which had been the main source of potable water supply to the Mampong Traditional Area and also the neighbouring towns, including Nsuta and its suburbs.