Minister Never Stopped Okobeng Mining Company 

John Peter Amewu

It has been established that Okobeng Mining Company is not involved in illegal mining contrary to earlier media reports.

Okobeng is a licensed mining company with the relevant certifications from the Mineral Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other state institutions.

Documents have revealed that Okobeng’s operations do not contravene the mining laws of the country.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu was earlier reported to have ordered the Okobeng Mining company to cease operations in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region for allegedly polluting the Ankobra River.

He was said to have directed managers of the company to report to the Ministry in Accra to answer questions on how it acquired a prospecting mining license without his knowledge.

The order was said to have been made by the minister during his tour of some mining areas in the Western Region as part of the fight against ‘galamsey.’

However, according to official accounts, the supposed order was never made in the first place.

Findings have revealed that a prospective mining license was not granted the mining company two months ago.

According to checks at the Minerals Commission, the prospective license was rather issued in August, 2016, which was followed by authorization by the EPA on December 6, 2016 for the mining company to conduct prospecting on the said mining concession.

This also means that the two major requirements that a company needs to meet before starting legal mining were duly adhered to by the company.

Secondly, the claim that the Okobeng has been mining 30 meters to the River Ankobra for the last two months was unfounded.

Further investigation reveals that Okobeng has not even started any prospecting on the said concession, let alone mine 30 meters to River Ankobra.

The CEO of the company, Nana Okobeng declined to comment on the matter even though his company had been exonerated, saying his lawyers had advised him not to speak to the media.

Okobeng Mining has embarked on several projects in the area as part of its corporate social responsibility.

It has offered support to Fiaseman Secondary School, St Augustine’s Secondary School at Bogoso and Tarkwa Secondary schools.

It has also embarked on a number of projects in the Presta Huney-Valley District.

Further investigation revealed that the Okobeng mining company, in line with the government’s commitment to fight ‘galamsey’ and protect  water bodies  and the environment,  had single-handedly battled illegal miners engaged in surface mining which negatively affects the environment.

The company said it has demonstrated its commitment to helping government fight illegal mining, adding that local businessmen engaged in lawful enterprise should not be victimized.