The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has instructed the management of Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) based at Nsuta, near Tarkwa in the Western Region to stop operations.
A letter signed by the minister and dated January 31, 2019, was to pave the way for a thorough and uninterrupted technical and financial audit of the mining company to be conducted.
According to the letter, preliminary assessments of some documents on the operations of the company raised some concern; hence, the need for a detailed audit to ascertain the facts,Daily Graphic writes.
“A preliminary assessment of your report, documents and information available to the government on your operations has left us with no option than to ask you to immediately cease operations in your mining area.
“The cessation of your operations will among other things, ensure that the technical and financial audit are undertaken without any challenges. You are, therefore, required to stop mining operations by February 1, 2019,” the letter to the management of the company added.
Mr Abraham Otabil, who is the public relations officer of the ministry in chat with Graphic online, confirmed that, “In 2018, for instance, Chinese imports of manganese from the GMC amounted to some 3.47 million tonnes, which was a 106 per cent improvement over the 2017 figure; meanwhile the government is not getting the right figures and results from the company.
“They are not cooperating with the technical and financial audit that will help us to get a clear picture of the situation but we cannot allow the country to be shortchanged, which is why there is the need for a thorough audit to be done,” the officer added.
Mr Mr Abraham Otabil further added: “We are auditing all large-scale mining companies to make sure that there is transparency in their operations. Some have cooperated very well and we expect others to do the same.”
According to him, when the ministry was done with the audit exercise, it would determine the next line of action on the company, including a decision on when it would start operations again.
Ghanamatters.com | Ghana