A group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Talensi (CCT), in the Upper East Region, are calling for the expulsion of Chinese firm, Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited in the Gbane area with immediate effect for operating illegally.
The group accused the company of indulging in large-scale mining, since 2012, without a license, instead of providing technical support services to Pubuotaba and Yenyeya small scale mining groups to serve as a mining support service company.
It also blamed the Shaanxi mining company for needless deaths of small-scale miners in the area.
At a press conference in Sheaga, spokesperson for the group, Charles Boazor, called on the Minerals Commission, government and the security agencies to immediately halt the operations of Shaanxi mining company.
“Shaanxi mining limited is mining in unauthorized areas and trespassing far beyond acceptable levels, every small scale mining license holder is in conflict with them.”
“Due to poor safety measures, many are dead through accidents, while others are injured and made to foot their medical bills. Some workers suffered dismissals without any laid down administrative procedure. The company pays employees below GHc 250.00 and has since 2012 not paid employees SSNIT contributions.”
Mr. Boazor thus wants government to revoke the license of Shaanxi mining company, and compel managers to pay compensation due beneficiaries and then expel them from the area.
“We advise Shaanxi Mining Ghana limited to comply with the directive of the suspension of mining operation given by the minister of Lands and Natural Resources in a letter, dated 24th April, 2017, following the recent blasting leading to the deaths of about seven people.”
“We would therefore never allow any further destruction of lives and property in the area. We appeal to the Ghana police service to compel the company to comply with the suspension until they are finally expelled or else, we would advise ourselves accordingly.” Mr. Boazor added.
However, in an interview with the Public Relations Officer of Shaanxi mining Ghana limited, Maxwell Wooma, he debunked the allegations that the company is engaged in illegal activities.
He said they were operating with the support service license and supervised by the Minerals Commission, adding that, the schedule time for blasting between 10:00 pm to 12:00 am has always been announced.
Mr. Wooma further stated that, their employees were paid in accordance with the daily minimum wage and the company also paid SSNIT contributions.
“If we receive a letter from the minister of Lands and Natural Resources suspending operations we will definitely suspend operations, but not until we have received any letter, we are not aware of it.”
By: Frederick Awuni/citifmonline.com/Ghana