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Business News of Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Source: classfmonline.com

We've not destroyed 24K acres of forest, our land taken over – C&G Aleska

The management of C&G Aleska has denied a story that claims the mining company connived with some Chinese to destroy 24,000 acres of virgin forest.

“We deny this story in its entirety and wish to place on record that we are a licensed mining company who has been unfairly dealt with by the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Illegal Mining and other government agencies,” the company said in a statement signed by the General Manager of C&G Aleska, Mr Emmanuel Donald Entsuah.

According to the statement, C&G Aleska had a mining lease agreement dated 23 December 2016 between the government of Ghana acting through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources separately from a mining lease it got from the same government in connection with an area measuring approximately 21.54 square kilometres within the Upper Wassaw Forest Reserve in the Western Region, for the company to mine gold for a period of 10 years.

Prior to the granting of the mining lease, C&G Aleska said it obtained the necessary entry permits from the Forestry Commission to enable them to commence operations in the Upper Wassaw Forest Reserve in the Western Region.

“We entered the Upper Wassaw Forest Reserve to prepare the mining concession in order to commence mining operations. In the course of the preparatory works to commence mining activities, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining taskforce on 9 February 2019 invaded the company’s mining concession, seized its machinery, equipment and monies without taking inventory and without any form of explanation,” the statement said, adding that: “The seized equipment and money run into several millions of cedis.”

C&G Aleska said since the seizure, the company has not been able to operate. The management has petitioned the presidency and filed a suit at the High Court against the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Attorney General, demanding that its money and equipment be released among other reliefs.

C&G Aleska noted that it is a licensed company which operates under strict environmental compliance, and is clearly the victim of the situation, as illegal miners have taken over their lands. “They are destroying portions of the land assigned to us and it is rather unfortunate for some elements to turn around and blame us (the victims).”

The company said it will soon come out with a documentary to show how illegal miners have been destroying its concession. The documentary, according to C&G Alseka, will give viewers a clear picture of how the activities of illegal miners are causing the government to lose billions of revenue through taxes and other fees.

The company said it has invested so much into the area and at no point would it engage in activities harmful to the environment.