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Information available to the Chronicle has established that a local mining giant Okobeng Mining company is not involved in the illegal mining contrary to some media reports.
Okobeng is a legitimate mining company with the relevant certificate from Ghana minerals commission, the environmental protection agency, and the other authorized state institutions.
The media reported earlier this week that the minister of lands and natural resources John Peter Amewu had ordered the mining firm to halt any mining activities at Domenase in the Nzema Municipality in the Western Region.
The supposed order was said to have been given by the minister during his tour of some mining areas in the western region as part of the fight against illegal mining (Galamsey).
However according to official accounts, the supposed order was never given in the first place.
Documents in possession of this paper clearly established that Okobeng is not engaged in any act that contravenes the mining laws of the country.
It is also not true that a given prospective mining license was given to the mining company two months ago. According to our checks at the minerals Commission, the prospective license was rather issued in August 2016, which was followed by authorization by the EPA on December 6 2016 for the mining to do prospective on the said mining concession.
This also means that the two major requirements that a company needs to meet before starting legal mining were duly met and adhered to by Okobeng.
Secondly, the claim that Okobeng has been mining 30 meters to the River Ankobrah for the last two months is baseless and unfounded. Further investigations reveal Okobeng has not even started any prospecting on the said concession, let alone, mine 30 meters from the River Ankobrah.
The CEO of the company, Nana Okobeng, declined to comment on the matter, saying his lawyers had advised him not to speak to the media on the matter.
Okobeng Mining has embarked on the several social intervention projects in the area as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Some of the beneficiaries include the Fiaseman Secondary School, St Augustine’s Secondary School at Bogoso and Tarkwa Secondary School. It has also embarked on a number of projects in the Prestea Huni- Valley District.
The CEO of the company is also a well-known philanthropist in the area, and has been supporting needy but brilliant students with scholarships.
Further investigations revealed that Okobeng Mining Company in line with the Government’s commitment to fight ‘galamsey’ and to protect water bodies and the environment, has single-handedly been battling illegal miners engaged in shallow mining, which has direct and immediate negative effects on the environment.
The CEO with the support of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), recently engaged the services of 20 ex-servicemen to battle illegal miners, including some Chinses nationals.
The move was to prevent the illegal miners from destroying the River Ankobrah which is one the largest rivers in the Western Region of Ghana.
The company has demonstrated its commitment to helping the government fight illegal mining, and says the government should ensure that local businessmen engaged in lawful enterprise should not be victimized, a source said.