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I’m not involved in galamsey – Chairman Wontumi to critics

Source The Ghana Report

Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Bernard Antwi Boasiako has denied reports suggesting that he is involved in illegal mining.

This comes after the Lands Ministry directed the Forestry Commission to halt activities of Akonta Mining Limited’s operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.

The sector ministry said even though Akonta Mining Limited has a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, the company has no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the reserve.

It was on these grounds that the ministry immediately halted the operations of the firm belonging to NPP Stalwart Chairman Wontumi.

Responding to these allegations on his TV Station, Wontumi TV, Mr. Antwi Boasiako said “I want to tell the public that I am not into galamsey”.

“The large-scale licensing power AngloGold, Newmont and the other bigger mining companies have, is the same license I have. I have four companies in the same area which are all operating with a genuine license. Samatex took me to court after I reclaimed the land, but when the galamsey guys took over the land previously, they did not take them to court even when they were aware the guys were operating illegally.

“They are using propaganda to destroy my company’s reputation. Just yesterday, Samatex sent their security guys to burn Akonta Mining Company’s cars and machines. Samatex is not bigger than my company, but because the CEO is part of the forestry board, he is using his people to destroy my company.

“They should be investigated to know if they are even backed by law to operate in that particular area. I have a license that will expire in 2035. It’s just propaganda. Nsenkyire should be careful, Samatex is not bigger than Akonta, we all pay tax and we are all backed by law. He goes behind certain media houses just to destroy my reputation,” he explained.

Since the press release by the Lands Ministry, there have been calls for the prosecution of persons running Akonta Mining Limited’s operation in the forest reserve.

Pressure group OccupyGhana said the directive by the Lands Minister is not far-reaching as the mining laws are clear on what sanctions await offending businesses and their officials.

The group, therefore, wants the sector minister to rely on the facts and evidence available and prosecute the directors and officers found culpable.

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