Management of Xtra Gold decries ‘unlawful’ burning of equipment

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Management of Xtra Gold Ghana Mining Company Limited has bemoaned the ‘unlawful’ burning of about 16 excavators, one bulldozer and other mining equipment belonging to the company.

The company in a statement issued yesterday said it “is a legally registered large scale lease holder of five concessions and our company has all the necessary government permits to conduct mining operations.”

It added that the “company pays ‘big money’ royalties, taxes, stool land fees, corporate social responsibility and employ hundreds of local workers.”

“At the same time that we are paying all these ‘huge’ taxes, the military is burning millions of dollars of our mining equipment,” it noted.

Illegality

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The statement explained that “the government’s directive was to burn the equipment of illegal miners, not legal mining companies.”

“These unlawful actions are ‘a clear violation of the rule of law’. These military personnel seem to be taking the law into their own hands, and should be stopped immediately for the good of Ghana and its citizens,” the statement said.

Some military personnel on Sunday, May 16 2021, set mining equipment of the company ablaze at one of the company’s concession sites. At, least three of the excavators and the bulldozer were brand new machines.

The bulldozer was meant for reclamation by the company.

Legal mining

Document available to the Daily Statesman indicates that the company is a licensed large scale mining company that has been in operation since 2006. Further documents from the Minerals Commission indicate that as late as March this year, the company was given the permit to continue with its activities since its operations do not form part of those that are being clamped down for operating illegally.

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Following the recent declaration of ‘Operation Halt’ by the government, as part of measures to check galamsey activities, the company wrote to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Abu Jinapor, informing him of its concessions.

The letter, signed by Kate Gyamfua, General Manager of Xtra Gold Ghana, also added the map of the company’s concession and other relevant documents to the Minister. It requested the Minister to make its map and other legally acquired documents available to the Commanding Officer of the Military Operation team.

Ahead of that, the company had stopped mining activities for several days and was dealing with the necessary officers in charge of the military operation to ensure that the military team did not mistake its activities as part of the activities of illegal miners.

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All the company’s machines, including a bulldozer for the reclamation, had been packed at the time of the military raid on its concession.

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