NGO gives ultimatum to Newmont Ahafo North Mine for outstanding compensation

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NGO gives ultimatum to Newmont Ahafo North Mine for outstanding compensation
Mr. Richard Adjei-Poku

The Livelihood and Environment Ghana (LEG), a -based Non-Governmental Organisation () focused on environmental issues, has issued a one-month ultimatum to North Mine to pay outstanding compensation to affected farmers in the Tano North Municipality, Region. The , which advocates for community rights, mineral governance, and environmental sustainability, warns that failure to make payments by the end of February 2024 could result in legal action.

Mr. Richard Adjei-Poku, the Executive Director of LEG, emphasized that both the 1992 Constitution and the Minerals and Mining Act mandate companies to promptly compensate individuals whose properties are affected by mining operations. He cited specific legal provisions, including Article 20 (2a) of the Constitution and Section 73 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, which require fair and adequate compensation.

According to Mr Adjei-Poku, the Compensation and Resettlement Regulation (2012, L.I. 2175 Section 4 (1)) also stipulates that companies must pay property owners within three months after agreeing on compensation amounts. Failure to comply with this regulation may result in the payment of a 10% interest on the outstanding amount.

Expressing dissatisfaction with Ahafo North Mine's alleged non-compliance, Mr. Adjei-Poku accused the company of being “exploitative and defiant” by failing to pay compensation arrears to vulnerable farmers in Ahafo North. He claimed that the company manipulated compensation packages, leading to an ongoing dispute with affected farmers.

Mr Adjei-Poku pointed out that the government's Executive Instrument issued last year compelled farmers who rejected Newmont's compensation package to accept it, threatening the use of force to acquire the land. The LEG Executive Director criticized the government and relevant state institutions for their silence on the matter.

In response to the NGO's ultimatum, Mr Samuel Osei, the Communications and External Relations Manager of the Newmont Ahafo North Project and Newmont Ahafo South Mines stated that the company would provide a response to the concerns soon. The situation highlights ongoing tensions between mining companies and local communities regarding compensation and environmental impacts.

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