They praised the mining company for contributing $2 per every ounce of gold mined to the development of the communities in their operational areas.
‘We expect the mining company to do more with the coming of their new projects and not relent in their efforts to effectively engage with all their stakeholders periodically.’
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs at a press conference, Nana Nteboah Prah IV, Chief of Prestea Himang noted that the mining company had for several years tried to get all necessary approvals before it began operations.
According to the chief, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) had always been organizing peaceful public hearing for the people in the company’s mining areas and the most recent was the public hearing which was organized by the EPA, a few weeks ago.
He explained that public hearing forum, a statutory requirement, allowed the company to explain to the community how it would carry out its activities.
He added that the people are also given the opportunity to ask for clarification with regards to anything bothering them with respect to the activities of the mining company.
Nana Prah IV regretted that some youth, probably for their own parochial interest, made attempts to disrupt a recent public hearing by the company.
He commended the joint military and police force for their professionalism in foiling the alleged intension of the youth.
‘We the chiefs have been chided by some youth for being in bed with the company. But we will like to use this opportunity to state that as custodians of the land, we seek the sustainable development of our communities especially the growth and development of our people,’ he added.
The chief continued, ‘We therefore find the conduct of all persons who either overtly or covertly opposed the work of the EPA and the Golden Star Resources public hearing, unacceptable.’
He encouraged the aggrieved youth to channel their grievances through a Mediation Committee of which the Member of Parliament for the area Kwasi Blay is a member, for redress.
He indicated that the committee, which is chaired by Prof Mireku Gyimah, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) also had all the chiefs and representatives of the identifiable groups, as members.
‘We want the company to know that they are part of the community and so we expect them to partner with government to help improve the living standards of their host communities,’ the chief indicated.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi