GIADEC inaugurates 4 c’ttees for responsible mining

The Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure responsible mining as it prepares to commence full-scale operations.

To this end, it has inaugurated four 19-member committees each of which is to oversee and coordinate issues of environmental sustainability at the four locations designated for its operations.

The areas include Awaso in the Western North Region, Asiakwa (Atiwa) in the Eastern Region, and Nyinahini and Mpasaaso in the Ashanti Region.

Made up of members co-opted from the midst of traditional rulers, opinion leaders, municipal and district assemblies, the Forestry Commission, the police and various interest groups among others, the committees are to serve as the field managers for the corporation.

They are also expected to build strong community relations by working in partnership with a community-based platform with broad representation from community stakeholders, and address concerns raised by communities within GIADEC’s operational areas. 

Briefing journalists after inaugurating the committees in their respective communities, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIADEC, Mr Michael Ansah, explained that even though mining provided resources essential to the provision of the basic needs of civilization and the requirements of the high technology world, it could also result in substantial environmental and human health problems.

To this end, he said GIADEC was committed to ensuring that the environment was protected even as it began exploitation of the bauxite resource for the development of the country.

“We want to make sure we mine responsibly. This is the direction that we’ve been given by Osagyefuo. This is the direction we’ve been given by Okyenhemaa, who is a member of our Board and, of course, the direction that we’ve been given by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,” he said.

Mr Ansah said the corporation would not do anything that would seek to compromise everything, since sustainability was an important objective of the new organisation they were working to roll out.

“Atewa is a very sensitive place to do bauxite mining because of the significant biodiversity that we have in the Atewa Forest. We know that three principal rivers take their source from the Atewa Forest -the Ayensu, the Birim and the Densu, so the plans that we have for mining will be based on a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure that where we mine and how we mine is very responsive to the environmental issues that are unique to Atewa,” he reaffirmed.

He noted that the corporation had completed its mineral resource estimate and was currently carrying out biodiversity and hydrology studies for the baseline information that would be used to develop a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment.

“We are going to use all these to develop Environmental Impact Assessment, so I want to assure the people of Abuakwa that the work that we are going to do here is going to be responsive to the requirement of the environment and expectations of the people of Akyem Abuakwa,” he emphasised.

Touching on the committees, he explained that they were expected to build strong community relations by working in partnership with a community-based platform with broad representation from community stakeholders as well as address concerns raised by communities within GIADEC’s operational areas.

The Okyenhemaa, Nana Adutwumwaa Dokua, said the project would bring development to the mining communities and the country at large.

She, therefore, urged residents in the operational areas to support GIADEC to execute its mandate of developing an integrated aluminum industry.

By Cliff Ekuful

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