Ghana: Who Benefits From The Nyinahin Huge Bauxite Deposit?

Bauxite mine

Accra, Ghana, June 11, 2019//-Mineral business has been with Ghanaians for centuries with little or no ill feeling between sellers and buyers. With the advent of colonialism and neo-colonialism, however, there seem to be mistrust between mineral owners and buyers who happen to be multi-nationals whose only interest is profit.

In recent times what have been agitating the minds of some people are the huge bauxite deposits at Nyinahin in the Ashanti Region.

Who mines the deposits? How long does the contract last? What benefits will accrue to the locals? What about the environmental issues?

Though the concession has not been given out according to Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, there are concerns being expressed by some people in the town about their not being consulted.

Primarily the people are not happy about the membership of a board that would run the affairs of the development of the mine. They want locals to be included on the board so that their interests would be protected.

“We write to draw attention of the government to make necessary amendment in the constitution of the board which is predominantly people from outside the concession area as soon as possible before the commencement of the project.

It is estimated that this project is going to cater for the country for the next two hundred years and beyond. This could lead to deprivation of our livelihood for both present and future generation. Hence any changes in contrast to what we have stated above will be resisted”, they said in a recent statement.

It continued that, “The government should explain to us how the current as well as the future generation will benefit from the mining of the bauxite since it is going affect our livelihood and family system forever.

The government should reconstitute the board and make sure that each of the concession town are given a representative.

Also the traditional and modern political leaders in the various catchment areas should also be represented on the board”.

Refuting their claims on radio Oppong Nkrumah said, “Let us ask whether any concession has been given out. Their claim is a false premise because no concession has been given out. The state is seeking to validate the volume [of bauxite] that we have there.

When you validate those ones, you go to the next step of giving a lease to a company possibly to mine that bauxite. That lease will contain all other environmental impact assessment that needs to be done by the EPA before you give out that lease for a particular development project to be done.

So if anyone says that a concession has been given without consulting them, then that person is misinformed. If you say a lease has been given; then to who?”
Furthermore he said, “There is nobody who has been given a lease. The state through its own express is seeking to validate the quantum. When we are done, we will get to the next stage. For example, if you are going to give a lease, the necessary consultations between local authorities will take place because all mineral resources are vested in the President on behalf of the Republic. At this stage, the state needs to validate the quantum before it proceeds with any kind of further conversation”.

The people not happy with the Information Minister’s response reacted by accusing him saying, “It appears that Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, did not or refused to understand our press statement”.

The government in June, 2017 announced the setting up of The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation to be in-charge of management and development of  the bauxite industry in the country.

By Oppong Baah, African Eye Report





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