The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has directed the Forestry Commission to immediately halt the activities of Akonta Mining Limited’s operation in the Nimri Tano forest reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality of the Western Region.
A statement from the ministry said, while the mining company has a lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, the company has no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve.
“Records available to the Ministry show that while Akonta Mining Ltd 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 Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.”
The Ministry said its records show that Akonta Mining Ltd, on August 25, 2022, applied for a Mining Lease to undertake mining operations in the said Forest Reserve.
“By a Ministerial Directive, all reconnaissance, prospecting, and/or exploratory activities in Forest Reserves in the country are suspended, except in exceptional circumstances. Although this directive does not affect mining in Forest Reserves, Akonta Mining Limited’s application has not been determined.”
It pronounced all activities being undertaken by the company in the Forest Reserve as illegal.
The Lands Minister further directed the Forestry Commission to ensure that the company does not carry out any operation in the forest and to take the necessary action against any person found culpable in the matter.
“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources remains committed to the fight against illegal mining, with integrity and transparency, and assures the general public that it will continue to work with the relevant agencies and all stakeholders to come to grips with this age-old galamsey menace,” the statement added.