The Coalition of CSOs Against Mining in Atewa Forest led by A Rocha Ghana has accused the government of lack of transparency in the issuance of bauxite prospecting license to the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC).

This, the group said, is contrary to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister’s earlier claim of banning prospecting and mining activities in all forest reserves.

At a press briefing addressed by Deputy National Director of A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bosu in Accra, the group said the Lands and Natural Resources Minister “did not notify the relevant District Assemblies about the application for the mineral rights with license code PL.5/55 and did not publish notice of the application in a locally acceptable way nor exhibit it at the relevant District Assembly offices.”

They said although the license was made on February 11, 2021, “the Minerals Commission and the Forestry Commission did not include this application on the list of pending applications they jointly published on May 14, 2021.”

The statement pointed out that these actions are contrary to a recent claim by the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Martin Ayisi, that the current Lands and Natural Resources Minister has not granted any prospecting license in his tenure in office. Additionally, the coalition said, the actions of government constitute a breach of the Minerals and Mining Act 703, and public trust.

They are therefore calling on the government through the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, to halt all activities aimed at prospecting or mining bauxite in the Atewa Forest.

Meanwhile, a group calling itself “Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape” is also calling on the Chiefs and people of the area to rally themselves behind the fight against mining in the forest reserve.

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