The Lands Ministry has directed mining firm, Akonta Mining Limited to stop operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest. In a statement issued on September 30, the Ministry said it has taken note of “publications about certain operations by Akonta Mining Limited in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality in the Western Region”.
According to the Ministry, even though Akonta Mining Limited has a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, “the company has no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve”.
The statement said the sector minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has therefore directed the Forestry Ministry to, “forthwith, ensure that the company does not carry out any operation in the Forest and to take the necessary action against any person found culpable in this matter”.
“Our records show that Akonta Mining Ltd, on August 25, 2022, applied for a Mining Lease to undertake mining operations in the said Forest Reserve. By a Ministerial Directive, all reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploratory activities in Forest Reserves in the country are suspended, except in exceptional circumstances.
“Although this directive does not affect mining in Forest Reserves, Akonta Mining Limited’s application has not been determined. Accordingly, any alleged activity being undertaken by the company in the Forest Reserve is illegal”, the statement further disclosed. In conclusion, the Ministry pledged its commitment to dealing with the menace of illegal mining in Ghana, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
Meanwhile, the conversation about illegal mining continues to gain prominence from the recent arrest and ongoing trial of galamsey kingpin, Aisha Huang. The Chinese lady was arrested on September 5, and is currently facing trial for mining minerals without a license among other charges.