Source: Abdul Malik Kweku Baako
The Company was granted a reconnaissance license over an area of 135.87 square kilometres in Samreboi, on June 15, 2011, for a term of one year, to expire on June 2012 14. This area is outside the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.
When the reconnaissance license expired, he was granted a prospecting license over the same area of land, on December 31, 2012 for a term of two years to expire on December 30, 2014.
By section 41 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), the area of a mining lease cannot exceed 63 square kilometres, i.e., 300 blocks (a block is 21 hectares).
So, after the prospecting, they divided the area into three [Samreboi (44.94 sq. km), Abekoase (44.94 sq. km) and Anhuntem 45.3 sq. km), and applied for three different leases in respect of the same area they had conducted the reconnaissance and prospecting.
The Samreboi and Abekoase leases were granted on 23rd July 2022 after he paid the mineral rights fees and ground rent.
The Minerals Commission’s letter by which the lease was submitted for the Minister’s signature clearly states that these areas are outside the Forest Reserve.
The site plans attached to the leases also show that they do not fall within the Forest Reserve (Appendix 6 and 7)
In respect of the Anhuntem application, the lease has not been granted because the company has not paid the mineral right fees and the ground rent. That area is also outside the Forest Reserve.
Apart from these three leases, the company applied for a prospecting license to prospect for minerals in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve and applied for a Forest Entry Permit.
It was in respect of this application that the Forestry Commission wrote to the Minerals Commission, saying although they have no objection to mining, it must be subject to the Minister’s Directive on prospecting in Forest Reserves.
The application for a prospecting license was later withdrawn, and the company applied for a mining lease over a portion of the Forest Reserve on August 25, 2022.
The company’s application was for a 24-year lease, but the Minerals Commission advised the company to revise the mine life to 10 years.
Beyond that, the application has not yet been determined by the Minister. So currently, the company has no mining lease to mine in the Forest, and they do not have a Forest Entry permit to enter the forest.