AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Obuasi Mine, has inaugurated a committee that will see to the implementation of requirements enshrined in the Reclamation Security Agreement (RSA), which was part of the Obuasi Redevelopment Agreement.
Inaugurating the Committee on April 4, the Managing Director of AGAG, Obuasi Mine, Eric Asubonteng said, the Closure Consultative Committee formed by the Obuasi mine was the first of its kind in Ghana and not mandated by law.
“This initiative was motivated by AGA’s fundamental values of being accountable for our actions, making our communities better off and respecting the environment. it’s the desire of the company that everything embedded in the reclamation plan is implemented, knowing the importance of its outcome to the general Obuasi Community,” he noted.
Mr. Asubonteng said the appropriate regulators will monitor and evaluate works of the committee to ensure value for its work while urging members of the committee to bring their expertise to bear, for a constructive engagement so that the initiative is fruitful and worthy of emulation by other mines.
The committee comprises representatives of Adanse and Bekwai Traditional areas, Representatives of the Ayease, Dompoase, Akrokeri and Edubiase Divisions, Representative of Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Others include the Municipal Chief Executive of Obuasi (MCE), the District Chief Executive of Obausi East, Physical Planning and Development officers of the respective municipal and district assemblies and management of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine.
Obuasi mine Senior Manager for Environment, Nixon Asante, revealed that there will be regular site visits to the various sites to engage communities and ensure that they are involved along the various stages of the project. He noted that local and traditional authorities are crucial in the process hence all activities will be put out for stakeholders to be duly informed appropriately.
The main committee will be chaired by the Senior Manager Environment and will meet twice a year while the sub-committee is chaired by the Closure Manager, Ernest Krakani.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Elijah Adansi Bonah, in his remarks expressed his support towards the initiative pioneered by AGAG which he said, was good for the people of Obuasi.
He said a representative of AGAG would be invited to the Assembly community engagement session to explain the closure process to community members for clarity and understanding, to avoid speculations.
He further said that the initiative will succeed if there is clear and consistent communication to all stakeholders.
On her part, the District Chief Executive of Obuasi East, Faustina Amissah, said she was impressed that AGAG has taken the initiative to go beyond what was expected of them legally and meet communities at their point of need.
She, however, called on the regulators to expedite action on the process so that lands that are no longer in use and have been safely reclaimed, are given back to the communities for development.
Giving details of the Reclamation Security Agreement (RSA), the AGAG Closure Manager, Ernest Krakani, said the RSA spells out clearly the criteria to use to reclaim each of the areas identified for closure.
He cautioned that closure in this context did not mean closure of the Obuasi mine, but a reclamation process which is restoring the land into useable forms and giving it back to the communities.
It is the expectation of AGAG and the general Obuasi Community that some of the reclaimed and rehabilitated lands can be used for recreational activities and other economically viable interventions to engender socio-economic development.
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