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Group demands full compensation for families of 16 men who died in mining pit in 2019

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A group calling itself the Talensi Mining Communities’ Initiative (TAMCI)  is demanding compensation from Earl International Group and other mining companies whose actions led to the death of 16 young men in a mining pit in 2019.

It would be recalled that in 2019 some small scale miners were trapped in a mining pit in the Talensi Constituency of the Upper East Region.

Bright Laandolba, the Secretary to Talensi Mining Communities’ Initiative who read the press statement on behalf of the group, in Bolgatanga accused Earl International Group, formerly known as Shaanxi Mining Company of deliberately masterminding the death of the young men.

 “We are very worried as we discuss with you today that the deaths of our 16 brothers were caused by Shaanxi and the Minerals Commission’s investigative report on the incident proves our point that Shaanxi laced explosives with a lethal chemical called chlorine to kill the 16 young men intentionally.”

According to the group, while the Minerals Commission’s investigations found Shaanxi mining company culpable for causing the death of the 16 young men, it failed to recommend compensation be paid to the bereaved families.

“In 2019, when the minerals commission investigated Shaanxi for killing 16 young men in their mine at Gbane, they found them culpable and charged them forty thousand US Dollars $40,000.00 but failed to recommend even a pesewa to the bereaved families.”

“All the forty thousand (USD40,000.00) went into the state’s coffers while the bereaved families continue to suffer in poverty and in pain for the loss of their breadwinners.” 

They went further to allege that Earl International is an illegal and fraudulent entity because  compensation to concessionaires on the about 16km² parcel of land,has not been paid.

“An emphasis on why we insist that Shaanxi, now known as Earl International, is an illegal and fraudulent entity is that compensation has not been paid to all concessionaires on the about 16km² parcel of land. They have not also resettled those whose livelihoods will be affected by their large-scale mining operations. Yet the company claims it spent one million dollars ($1 million) conducting compensation exercises for some small-scale concessionaires.”

The group has therefore called on the Member of Parliament for Talensi Constitution to rally his colleagues MPs from the Upper East Region to get the Parliament of Ghana to probe the activities of mining companies in the Talensi District.

“We call on the Talensi MP to rally his colleagues from the region to get the Parliament of Ghana to probe the process by which the Earl International Group was given licence and EPA permit and why the state institutions that are set up and funded by the poor taxpayer are unable to compel mining companies in Talensi, i.e Earl International, Cardinal Resources, Bantama etc to do the right thing.”

To the group, the following recommendations as they proposed should be strictly adhered to ensure peaceful coexistence.

“We recommend that: Parliament of Ghana should investigate the issuance of the licence to Earl International Group amidst all licence fields. The 16 young men who were murdered in 2019 should be integrated into the Bantama concession as stakeholders. All concessionaires who have portions of land where Earl International has acquired for its large-scale mining operations should be given up to 7% royalty. Earl International should desist from illegally mining on unauthorised places or concessions. The Ghana Immigration Service should look into the legal statuses of all Chinese workers at Shaanxi/Earl International mine at Gbane. A resettlement/compensation committee should be set up to begin the negotiation process of resettling the occupants at Obuasi site to pave the way for the company’s operations.”

The Public Relations Officer of Earl International, Ebenezer Bognaab when contacted, declined to speak to the issue.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz| Samuel Adagom|Ghana

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