Business News of Friday, 1 June 2012
Mr. Mak Kimsan, Exploration Manager of Azumah Resources Limited, an Australian gold exploration company operating in the region, says some community issues such as sacred places and farm lands were challenges stalling its operations.
He said the company had drilled 23 holes in its concession area but community members had prevented them from drilling eight more holes, claiming those areas were sacred places and farm lands.
Efforts to pay compensation to the farmers to allow the drilling also failed because some of the farmers had already sown their crops and would not want them to be destroyed.
Mr. Kimsan made this known to Mr. Abu Kansangbata, Nadowli District Chief Executive, when he visited the area as part a tour of ongoing government projects on Thursday.
He appealed to the Nadowli District Assembly and other stakeholders including traditional rulers, to support the company to amicably settle all issues emanating from community members to help promote the smooth implementation of its operations.
He said already, the company had engaged 200 local people as part of its workforce and gave the assurance that more young people from the communities would be engaged when the company goes into full scale mining next year.
Mr. Kansangbata said the district assembly was prepared to work with development partners to help improve the living conditions of the people and appealed to management of the company to respect the rights and culture of the people to help promote mutual understanding and trust.
He said community members were coming to the district assembly with some disturbing reports about the operations of the company, complaining that the company was driving them away from their farm lands which they said was the only source of their livelihood.
He said the district assembly was working hard to collaborate with traditional rulers and other stakeholders to settle community issues, provide security and ensures peace for the company to operate.**