Former Ghanaian footballer, Abedi Pele through his company Youwerei Natural Resources has obtained a small-scale mining licence to mine gold in the Sherigu community in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region.
The company first obtained a prospecting licence in 2018 and entered the community to search for the yellowish natural resources – gold. In the year 2020, the company was granted a mining licence to enter the community to extract gold in large quantities as enshrined in the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).
General Manager of Youwerei Natural Resources, Ben Tabury said all documentation for the company to start mining gold in the Sherigu community has been appropriately done. While calling for collaboration from the community and the regulatory bodies, the company promised to play its part in ensuring the safety of lives and the protection of the environment.
Mr. Tabury, who spoke to journalists in the community, said Youwerei Natural Resources is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for the community members. He stated that the company will prioritise hiring residents and will provide training and skill development programs to enhance their capabilities.
”I am repeating what the Minerals Commission says about local content and we are very aware of it. If there is any instruction for us to employ and improve the employment [situation] in the community and the people who are ready and qualify to do it, of course, the priority is for the community”
As part of its corporate social responsibility, the General Manager said the company plans to invest in community development projects.
“The owner of the company is your own son, Abedi Pele. So, what the community is expecting out of it is all that the Minerals Commission says [about] corporate social responsibility. So according to the law, we have some responsibilities to what the community is. So, we are looking forward to working together and so I think this is a win-win relationship we are trying to put together”, Mr. Tabury added.
He said the mining firm aims to change the narrative of mining in the community by implementing sustainable mining practices that minimise environmental impact. He said that can be done by employing modern technology and expertise to ensure responsible mining and reclamation of mined areas.
The General Manager of Youwerei Natural Resources made this disclosure during a day community sensitization forum held at the Sherigu community. The forum was organised by the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), a civil society organisation centred on the rights and responsibilities of mining communities under the Minerals and Mining Policies, and the laws of Ghana, ECOWAS, and Africa.
The chief of Sherigu, Naba Aluman Thomas Apasinaba II indicated that once the company has acquired a licence to mine gold in the community, it is proper for Youwerei Natural Resources to do proper community entry before it can start mining.
“Because if we don’t have any good relationship with them, they would come and destroy our lands, deprive us of our livelihood, and go away. They are coming to help develop our community by way of resources, development projects, like boreholes, hospitals, and all these forms part of their corporate social responsibilities to the community that is if they are properly established”, Naba Afayure Akazire, Chief of Dorongo spoke on behalf of the Sherigu chief.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Sherigu|Ghana