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23 August 2017

Halt operations at Nyinahin bauxite concession – Exton Cubic ordered

The Minerals Commission has directed Exton Cubic Group Limited to halt operations at the Nyinahin bauxite concession of the Tano Offin Forest reserve.

A statement from the Commission directed the company to “stop any attempt of entering the concession to undertake any mining operation.”

It said Exton Cubic shall obtain the “necessary approvals and permits as may be required by law from the Forest Commission on Water Resources Commission and the Environment Agency or any other regulatory body” before “undertaking an activity or operation under the mining lease.”

The order follows claims by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Exton Cubic Group Limited’s current operations in the Nyinahin bauxite concession are illegal.

Though the Exton Cubic applied for a permit to undertake the prospecting of bauxite in the area; it failed to comply with EPA regulations rendering the permits null and void.

The Commission further indicated that the validity of Exton Cubic’s forestry permit is strictly contingent upon its fulfillment of “all statutory regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water Resources Commission (WRC), and the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission pertaining to legitimate mining operations in a forest reserve.”

“The mining lease is subject to ratification by Parliament in accordance with Article 26811, the Constitution and Section 5(4) of Act 7013. Upon execution of this mining lease, the company shall submit a certified true copy of the mining lease to the Minister to be laid before Parliament for ratification.”

The seizure of mining equipment belonging to Ibrahim Mahama’s Engineers and Planners (E&P), which was undertaking some preparatory work in the forest for Exton Cubic, culminated in the mining company accusing the Ashanti Regional Minister of unlawfully impounding vehicles belonging to Engineers and Planners  and detaining its officers.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu, had earlier tried to clarify the situation by confirming that his Ministry granted Exton Cubic an entry permit into the Nyinahin bauxite concession.

But the EPA in a statement said, “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 is illegal.”

By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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