The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has directed the Forestry Commission to halt all mining activities in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality of the Western Region.
He further asked the Commission to ensure that no company carry out any mining operation in the forest and to take the necessary action against any person found culpable to have engaged in the illegality.
This was contained in a statement issued by the ministry in Accra yesterday.
The statement followed reports that Akonta Mining Limited was mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.
It explained that records available to the Ministry showed 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.
“Our records show that Akonta Mining Ltd, on 25th August, 2022, applied for a Mining Lease to undertake mining operations in the said Forest Reserve,” the statement said.
However, by Ministerial directive, it stated that, all reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploratory activities in Forest Reserves in the country were suspended, except in exceptional circumstances.
The statement said, although the directive does not affect mining in Forest Reserves, Akonta Mining Limited’s application had not been determined.
“Accordingly, any alleged activity being undertaken by the company in the Forest Reserve is illegal,” it noted.
The Ministry, the statement said, was committed to the fight against illegal mining, with integrity and transparency, and assures the general public that it would continue to work with the relevant agencies and all stakeholders to clamp down on the menace.
BY TIMES REPORTER