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Business News of Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Source: Tv3network.com

EPA stops African Queen Mining firm for flouting regulations

Eastern Regional Director of the EPA, Felix Addo Kyereh

The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, has halted operations of African Queen Mining firm at Asante Akim Aperagya area in the Eastern Region for flouting its regulations.

The agency said the mining firm had failed to adhere to laid down regulations by going beyond the prospecting license and the undertaken signed.

The mining firm has sites in the Eastern and Ashanti Regions.

According to the EPA, the company only acquired prospecting rights on the site but has gone ahead to start operations.

During a visit by officials of the EPA to the company's site, heavy machinery was found on the site working.

Eastern Regional Director of the EPA, Felix Addo Kyereh said the company had clearly flouted the regulations and the arrangement with the EPA hence their decision to close down the firm.

"You have an undertaking with the agency indicating that all these equipment you are bringing here are only meant for safe keeping and as part of the undertaking you indicated that you are not going to install any processing material until you've been given the lease and the environmental permit".

Another EPA official who was angered by the development said, " You cannot go to any other country and do this because there are laws and you must abide by them. You have applied for a permit from the EPA to renew your license; we are in the process and here you are with equipment doing what is contrary".

The Compliance Manager of the African Queen Mining firm, Francis Hotor, admitted they had flouted mining regulations.

"What happened is that we have already procured the equipment and we also want to avoid the cost of storing them at the port so we decided to bring them down here; and by so doing whiles we wait for the mining lease; we decided to install the machines".

It is unclear what sanctions would be meted out to the company before they are given the necessary permit to operate.