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23 August 2017

Exton Group has no permit – EPA – Starr Fm

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has disclosed the Exton Cubic Group Limited which has acquired a bauxite concession at Nyinahin in the Ashanti region is operating without environmental permit.

“The bottom line is that Exton Cubic Group Limited has not obtained the required EPA permit under its mining lease and therefore any attempt to enter the area for mining activity is illegal,” the EPA said in a statement Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

There is a standoff between the lands minister Peter Amewu and the Ashanti regional minister Simon Osei Mensah after the latter ordered the seizure of the equipment of Exton Group’s subcontractors E&P, who were preparing the grounds for mining.

The regional minister has vowed never to release the equipment and trucks because his office is not privy to the documentation surrounding the bauxite concession to Exton Group.

Before the dust could settle, the EPA has issued a statement claiming Exton Group requires a new permit to operate.

“On 29th March 2016, Exton Cubic Group Limited applied for three separate Environmental Permits from the EPA to undertake prospecting of bauxite on its Mprasaso, Kiriyaso, and Kyekyewere concessions in the Ashanti region covering a total of 346.08 km sq.

“The EPA granted the Environmental Permits to Exton Cubic Group Limited on 7th June 2016. The company among other conditions was to notify the EPA as soon as prospecting activities commenced and also to submit within three months from the date of issuance of the Environmental Permit a liability estimate of environmental degradation to enable the posting of the Reclamation Bond in line with Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulation 1999 (LI 1652). Exton Cubic Group Limited unfortunately reneged on all these conditions.

“The prospecting permits are therefore no longer valid. Exton Cubic Group Limited subsequently acquired a Mining Lease on 29th December 2016 from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, This mining lease requires a new EPA permit which has not been granted by the EPA,” the statement added.

Below is the full statement:

PRESS RELEASE ON EXTON CUBIC GROUP LIMITED’S ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT STATUS WITH THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)

The attention of the EPA has been drawn to a situation that has arisen regarding an attempt by Exton Cubic Group Limited to enter the Nyinahin bauxite deposit area for the purpose of undertaking mining activities. As a result of the public interest in the matter, the EPA would like to clarify the position of Exton Cubic Group Limited’s Environmental Permit status under its Mining Lease (that is a necessary condition for any mining activity). The bottom line is that Exton Cubic Group Limited has not obtained the required EPA permit under its mining lease and therefore any attempt to enter the area for mining activity is illegal.

On 29th March 2016, Exton Cubic Group Limited applied for three separate Environmental Permits from the EPA to undertake prospecting of bauxite on its Mprasaso, Kiriyaso, and Kyekyewere concessions in the Ashanti region covering a total of 346.08 km sq. The EPA granted the Environmental Permits to Exton Cubic Group Limited on 7th June 2016. The company among other conditions was to notify the EPA as soon as prospecting activities commenced and also to submit within three months from the date of issuance of the Environmental Permit a liability estimate of environmental degradation to enable the posting of the Reclamation Bond in line with Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulation 1999 (LI 1652). Exton Cubic Group Limited unfortunately reneged on all these conditions. The prospecting permits are therefore no longer valid. Exton Cubic Group Limited subsequently acquired a Mining Lease on 29th December 2016 from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, This mining lease requires a new EPA permit which has not been granted by the EPA. The EPA’s discussions with the company and its consultants indicated that the following documents are required to support their application for in EPA permit under its Mining lease:

• Submission to EPA of a “No objection” letter from Cabinet;
• Completion and submission of statutory environmental assessment form (EA2); and
• Notification from the EPA to the company to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment which would have led to a broader public consultation and “public hearings’ within the relevant catchment communities in line with Regulation 17 of the Environmental Assessment regulations, 1999 (LI 1652).

Failure of the company to comply with the above stated conditions as at the time of the issuance of this press release has rendered all environmental permits null and void, Again, the EPA wishes to state that any mining activity to be conducted by the Exton Cubic Group Limited within the concession areas, of which Environmental Permit is being sought is not consistent with the Environmental Assessment Procedures of the EPA, LI1652 and is therefore illegal.

SIGNED
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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