The Gbane Traditional Area in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region have petitioned Lands and Natural Resources Minister Kweku Asomah-Cheremeh to revoke the mining licence of Cassius Mining Limited.
In a petition addressed to the minister, the residents and traditional leaders expressed concerns over what they claimed to be some unhealthy developments in the mining community which they respectfully proffer some measures to be adopted to cure the challenges.
“It is the larger interest of majority of indigenes that the said licence should be revoked outright for cogent reasons subsequently stated in this petition,” the petition read.
Those approving the petition are Chief of Gbane, Assembly Member of Gaare-Gbane, Ndaan Gugbazaah-Tassoh, among others.
Read the full text of the release below;
PETITION: REVOKE PROSPECTING LICENCE OF CASSIUS MINING LIMITED
We write as Chief and good people of the Gbane Traditional Area to express our concerns over some unhealthy developments in the mining community and respectfully proffer some measures to be adopted to cure the challenges.
It is obvious stating that the Gbane community has of late played host to lots of mining investors-large and small, local and foreign. The agglomeration of these diverse industry players has significantly affected the hitherto harmonious and organic relationship among our good people. Recently, the introduction of a foreign large scale mining company-Cassius Mining Limited (Cassius), brought with it, a cascade of inter-company disputes, as well as hostilities amongst small scale miners and traditional authorities.
No sooner than the said Cassius mining company arrived in the community than there were series of mining concession litigations, sponsored fragmentations of small scale miners front and utter disregard for community and traditional authorities. No traditional authority has been recognised as one capable of amicably resolving most of their self-inflicted problems. As a matter of concern and to douse the growing tension in the community, we have taken it upon ourselves to assess the operations of that company and have come to the following demand/concerns:
1. The licence area of the Cassius company came too close to an already existing operational area belonging to the Yenyeya and Pabortaaba Mining Groups who are enjoying Mine Support Service from the Shaanxi Mining (Ghana) Limited, who equally have potentials of expanding their operations to large scale. It is obvious that the Cassius licence gave birth to potential cases of overlaps both surface and underground. This is what has been the beef between the two mining ‘giants’ in our community. We consider our petition timely since we are reliably informed that the Prospecting licence of Cassius has expired since December 2018. It is our position that the licence should not be renewed anymore to avoid what has visited our community in the last three years. It is the larger interest of majority of indigenes that the said licence be revoked outright for cogent reasons subsequently stated in this petition.
2. Publications about the Directors and Shareholders of Cassius have made startling revelations about their possible criminal backgrounds. Per documentations available to us, some of the Directors and Shareholders, who came into Ghana and promoted the company were convicted of criminal activities including possession of narcotics and market rigging and other offences such as professional negligence. For the avoidance of doubt, we refer you to the Daily Guide publication of Tuesday, February 26, 2019, page 6 dubbed ‘Mafia’ Group Invades Gbane Mining Area’ as well as online publications-https://www.modernghana.com/news/928045/northern-patriots-in-researc-and-advocacy-threatens-demo-ov.html, http://www.ghananewsagency.org/social/cassius-mine-shut-down-as-directors-face-investigations-148695 and so on. We are minded by the interpretation of Section 86 (1) of the COMPANIES ACT 1963 (ACT 179), now revised as the Companies Act 2019-Sections 172 and 177- which proscribes them to promote and manage a company in the country. We are further aware a petition has been sent to the Inspector General of Police and the Director General-CID by a civil society organisation called Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) for further investigations into these alleged backgrounds. It will not be out of place to respectfully urge your outfit to synchronise your activities with the investigations and the outcome of same to inform you better on these people who constitute the owners of that company.
3. Our traditional area has known no peace ever since the company entered to conduct its illegal exploration. The exploration was illegal following fact that the company had no operating permit before embarking on its drilling exercises and was subsequently issued a Stop Work Order by the Minerals Commission on 25th August 2017 and reminded in another on 2nd January, 2018. Upon its illegal assumption of exploration, it started sponsoring litigious groups to foment trouble against other competitors, as well as traditional rulers. Disparaging comments have been published against some traditional rulers and other mining enterprises in our community all in hostile attempts to deride their integrities and oust competitors.
The harmonious and organic solidarity that existed before their arrival has extinguished. At the moment, brothers are at war against their brothers with a lot of cases in court for settlement. These are practices that will further soil the hitherto consanguinity that served as the foundation of unity and development.
4. The company recently packed out of its camp unannounced following its failure to obtain an operating permit. Its woes have been deepened by fact that the Prospecting Licence has expired. Gbane is well known for its blessing with the gold metal and has become a hot place for investors in that sector. We are of the strongest conviction that the area they occupied with their Prospecting Licence can be better and economically mined if granted to well placed, genuine, placid investors. Such fast-developing investment will transform our rural economy through job creation and social interventions.
Under the circumstance, the company has shown it is severely incapacitated and should not be allowed to derail the fortunes of our community. We value investment but such must come with peace, development and mutual coexistence which we are conspicuously lost in the Cassius Mining Limited company. We are willing to accept and work with those you deem fit for purpose other than this company and hope to have a favourable response from you.
Please accept the assurances of our highest consideration.
For Chief of Gbane
Hon. John Nabwomya
Assembly Member, Gaare-Gbane E/A
Alhaji Fahad N. Bagmeritamme
Teng Yin Emmanuel
(For Ndaan Gugbazaah-Tassoh)
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice-Accra
The Chief Executive Officer-Minerals Commission