Minister sets up team to investigate raid of Heritage Imperial Mining Company
Prof. Frimpong Boateng, the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Mining’s action or raiding Heritage Imperial Mining Company Ltd. has led to the Minister for land and natural resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, calling for an investigation into the matter.
The Forestry Commission, the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of lands and Forestry paid a visit the site to ascertain the fact on whether the company was mining illegally as had been said by the Professor and his Inter-Ministerial Committee on Mining.
At the site in the Apramprama Forest, the Minister said he was aware from reports he had received from his office that there were other mining firms in the forest before the license was giving to Heritage Imperial Mining Company Ltd, and that he would revoke the license and have the matter properly investigated to determine whether they (Heritage Imperial Mining Company Ltd) had done anything illegal.
The Chairman of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who was also present at the site stated that as far as his outfit was concerned, Heritage Imperial Mining Company Ltd, had done nothing wrong and that they were properly licensed to operate in the forest.
Sir John, as the former NPP General Secretary is popularly referred to, indicated that the company was in compliance by their obtaining of the Forestry Entry Permit and was legitimately in possession.
He added that his outfits works closely with the Minerals Commission and that they ensured that economic trees that are cut are properly compensated for. Sir John also stressed that Heritage Imperial Company Ltd was not mining in the forest as claimed by Frimpong Boateng and his men and that they were a legitimate company.
The raid led to the looting or properties worth millions of cedis belonging to the company. The Obuasi Police has arrested men who were openly selling the raided equipment of Heritage Imperial Company Ltd on the open market, some of the equipment were traced to Tamale in the northern region. Another man was arrested and taken to Pokuase police station for being in possession of a pickup truck belonging to Heritage Imperial Ltd.
Prof Frimpong Boateng, who is also the Environment, Science and Technology Minister and his men, before the raid, created the impression that the company did not have a valid license to operate while the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources had licensed and cleared them to legally operate.
The Minister’s visit cleared the doubts Heritage Imperial Company Ltd, the legitimate large-scale mining firm at Kobro Forest (Apraprama) in the Ashanti Region had its concession raided and properties seized on December 6, 2018, by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) taskforce.
Pro. Frimpong Boateng, also the Chairman of the IMCIM whose men led the raid, was according to our investigation, furnished with documents from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Forestry Commission among others validating Heritage Imperial Company Ltd.’s operations and their status as a legitimate Large-scale Mining Company. Prof Frimpong Boateng and his men labeled the company as a small-scale mining company and added that they were operating illegally.
He, without the knowledge of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Forestry Commission and proper procedure, deliberately ignored the facts and went ahead with the intended raid and seizure of the equipment. Mr. Donald Emmanuel Entsuah, the Managing Director of Heritage Imperial Company Ltd. has started in an interview that the company was confident that after the investigation it would be clear that a lot of unfairness has perpetrated against his company.
“The investigation would come and vindicated the position we have always held that we are a legitimate company operating and abiding by the rules and regulations of this country”.