Story by Frederick E. Aggrey
The Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa Nsueam constituency, George Mireku Duker and the Municipal Chief Executive of the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality, Benjamin Kesse, have been accused of forcefully taking the concession of a mining company, Task Mining at Tarkwa.
“Our checks and sources have indicated that, the Deputy Lands Minister is using his position and influence to prevent those who have to sign our documents for us not to do same, trying to complete what they started earlier, that is to pursue their personal interests by taking the mining concession from us”, the company said.
The concession is said to have been abandoned by Tarkwa Goldfields Ltd around 1968, until Task Mining identified it and redeveloped same.
Benjamin Ampiah, also known as Ras Tarto, Chairman of Task Mining registered the displeasure of the company and the Akon community for what they termed as the selfish attitude of the two government officials.
According to him, the company identified the mining site, which is the abandoned shaft on October 18th, 2017 and have since invested millions of dollars to redevelop it into usable state for over three years now
However, he said that, when the Deputy Lands minister and his partners realized that the shaft has been brought to usable state, they started machinations to forcefully take it from them.
In a Press Conference to register their displeasure at Tarkwa on August 19th, 2021, Benjamin Ampiah noted that “when the current Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister and Mr. Kesse, now the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) who was not MCE then, saw that the shaft has come back to life, they started efforts to forcefully take it from us”.
He added that, “The Company ensured that all required processes and documentations were duly acquired, per the demands of the industry”.
He said further that, “After the now MCE and Hon Duker realized that the company is operating legally, with all legal requirements, they decided to relax and wait till the licenses are expired to take the shaft from us”.
He reveled that “The company’s licenses expired on August 25th, 2020, after which the company took all necessary steps to renew them, making all payments and processes necessary per the law to renew those licenses”.
According to him, “After making all payments and passing through all the processes and agencies, it is left for the signatures of the Regional Minister and that of the Acting Minerals Commission boss, Mr. Ayissi”.
He indicated further that “The two have since refused to sign same documents for us, frustrating our efforts to get them through and when we demanded to know why, no reasons have been assigned for their refusal to sign for us”.
He added further that, in view of the conducts if the two state officials, the company have taken Minerals Commission to Court.
He lamented that, “We were on sight when on Tuesday 17th August, 2021 a joint military and Police contingent came to demand that we leave the site within 24 hours, adding that the order was from above, and also saying that, we do not own the shaft, so we should leave”.
To him, this if not addressed could lead to serious needless bloodshed, situation they are trying very hard to prevents all abiding citizens.
They therefore called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Omanhene of Apinto Traditional area, Nana Kobina Angu II and all stakeholders to intervene, to avert any possible clashes.
All efforts to reach the Deputy Minister and the MCE by this paper proved futile.
However, in telephone conversation with the Tarkwa Nsueam constituency Chairman indicated that, they intend to use the mining site for community mining, in order to ensure that a lot of the youth get livelihood.
He refuted the claims by the company and added that, the site does not belong to anyone.