Mining company to construct airport in Upper East
A Chinese large-scale mining firm, Cardinal Namdini Mining Limited located in the Talensi District, has commenced processes to construct an airport in the Upper East Region.
The Project Manager of Cardinal Namdini Gold Project, Steve Ofori-Asamoah, who disclosed this, said initially, the company planned to construct an airstrip to enhance its operations when it begins production in the last quarter of 2024.
He noted that “the essence of the airstrip is to enhance the transportation of employees of the company outside the region to undertake activities in Kumasi, Accra and Takoradi, as well as for bullion purposes”.
Mr Ofori-Asamoah announced the decision in an interview with the media when the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr Sulemanu Koney, led a team to tour the mining site of the company.
Cardinal Namdini Mining Limited, a subsidiary of Shandong Gold, acquired a mining lease to undertake surface mining for 15 years in the district, and this is expected to generate 150 million tonnes of ore for five million ounces of gold within the 15 years.
The project manager indicated that the company had consulted government about its intention to construct an airstrip, saying “since the region does not have an airport, the government suggested that the company should rather construct an airport akin to that of the Tamale airport to serve the public”.
Mr Ofori-Asamoah stressed that the company was still negotiating with the government to pave the way for the commencement of the project, as management of the mining company had already approved an initial amount to kick-start the project.
“We are currently waiting for negotiations between our company and the government to give the green light for the project to start, so as to be completed ahead of schedule to achieve the intended purposes” he said.
He added that as soon as negotiations were completed, actual construction work would begin on the project, as already the company had started with design and other preparatory works.
He mentioned that the company had engaged the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority as well and that plans were far advanced towards executing the project to serve both the company and the general public.
Although the location of the airport has not yet been concluded, he expressed delight that when completed, the new airport would bring huge relief to people as they could easily travel into the region to transact business and engage in other social activities.
During a courtesy call, the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, expressed excitement about the company’s decision to construct an airport in the region to facilitate their work.
He said the government had already acquired land since the 1980s at Anateem for that purpose and that it would be a great move for the company to partner the government to ensure that the airport project became a reality.
He assured the company of the needed security by the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to enable them to carry out their operations without any difficulty, saying “REGSEC is working closely with the company to ensure that the workers are secured in their operations.”
In a remark, Dr Koney argued that “if the opportunities in the mining sector are mapped, it will interface with every sector of the economy.”
For his part, the Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang, while commending the company for its work said the traditional council had drafted an agreement and submitted it for their consideration.