Residents of the Talensi Districts, and consequently, the Upper East Region, are being urged to hasten slowly in pressing local mining businesses for developmental projects.
The DCE, Thomas Duanab Wuni Pearson, cautioned that discretion must be exercised to ensure that the agreements reached among the companies, the District Assembly, and other stakeholders are profoundly beneficial to the residents.
Mr Wuni Pearson however acknowledged that it is important that the Talensi Districts enjoy its fair share of development from the large scale mining companies in the area.
He said this when he spoke to Gerard Asagi and Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show recently.
“Mining is intensive. It is not a one day job. It is capital intensive. Over time, we would reap the results. All that happened in the years past, was just small-scale miners who brought in people to offer certain support services. They were not licensed to pay certain taxes. Our people, some of them just combine everything. They think that once you are there and extracting gold, you must pay ABCD.”
“Now, whichever company that is there would pay corporate tax. You will pay royalties. At the time I looked at the scheduled payments, in the period that Earl International, which has just been about a year or something, I saw Ghc200,000, Ghc400,000 and it started coming down depending on your investment portfolios. You may not have uniform payments,” he said.
Mr. Wuni Pearson, insisted that where mining companies are expected to undertake Social Corporate Responsibilities, it is incumbent that the right decision is made by all stakeholders.
“We have the SCR. These are the things that we us a community and the companies, we have to come together and agree. The mining laws provide the framework and there are some things that legally, the companies are supposed to do. Those ones, they cannot run away from. They would do them but because we ourselves, the disagreements are too many, it takes a long time to be able to fashion out the corporate responsibility agreements with the companies.”
The Talensi DCE explained that only one of the two large scale mining companies are in production in the area.
“Even though we have two large scale mining companies in the area, it is actually one of them that is in production and that is Earl [International]. Cardinal is still in the process and I believe that in the next 3 years, they may be fully operational. Road construction may not be part of what they are supposed to do but we may be able to talk them into it,” he said.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana