Earl International Group (GH) Gold Ltd working as large scale mining company in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region as part of its safety measures and ensuring residents including small scale and illegal miners are protected from mining operations have sealed off illegal mining pits within its operational area which is been used to trespass into Earl international Mining Group's mining underground to steal gold ore and destroy its properties.
Earl international in its response to a press conference by two groups namely Savannah Research and Advocacy Network ( SRAN) and the Foundation for the Transformation of Marginalised Areas ( TAMA foundation) published by www.dreamzfmonline.com , who are calling on the Minerals Commission to compel Earl International mining group to compensate residents within the mining areas due to the large scale activities of Earl mining.
" Earl International Mining Group has been mining in the area for over 10 years with nothing to show with respect to jobs for the youth, infrastructure and local enterprise development for members in the community", the two groups alleges.
They two groups accused Earl mining for " causing the deaths of many illustrious sons and daughters in Talensi due to its poor health and safety standards".
But in a rejoinder by Earl International Group, they as a responsible mining company has compensated over 39 small scale mining groups that existed in the area after government facilitated an agreement between the small scale miners and the company with other conditions.
" 2% of gold royalties be paid to the amalgamated small scale miners twice every year to serve as alternative sustainable income source to the concession owners"
" 200 small scale miners' employees/staff/workers be employed by EISGGL as an alternative livelihood source to workers of the concession owners".
According to the spokesperson for Earl International mining group, Bognaab Ebenezer, said an amount of one million Dollars was expended in the compensation exercise.
" The agreement was successfully executed with a compensation duly paid, recruitment of workers ongoing and miners now awaiting payment of shares"
" It has been the expectation of both parties- EIGGGL and government that these small scale miners would clear off the concession and to allow the company have unfettered access to its tenement and mine in very safe atmosphere " he added.
"It can be recalled that in 2019, about 16 illegal miners sadly lost their lives following similar illegal entities into operational areas tha exposed them to hazardous conditions" the spokesperson said.
The rejoinder further said; " this current exercise which is to seal off illegal mining pits located within the company's concession for these pits is in its 3rd day, hasn't impacted on the structures/crops/ or farmlands of the people that warrant the CSOs ".
Bognaab Ebenezer added that, compensations have already been made for these areas and for avoidance of doubt, the company will compensate any structures/ persons/farmlands that will be impacted as and when such situations come up.
" The company has taken stringent measures to protect lives and properties in the area. It is to this extent that since the 2019 incident involving the illegal miners, no such nasty situation has befallen us".
Earl International Mining Group called on well meaning publics to support their drive towards sanitizing the mining area in order for more illegal miners to get decent jobs with the company.
Over 800 youth from the Talensi District have so far been employed at Earl International Mining Group.
Below is the rejoinder from Earl International Mining Group in response to SRAN and TAMA foundation.
Cc: All media houses
16TH September, 2022.
Rejoinder: COMPENSATION FOR SETTLERS IN OBUASI MINING SITE, GBANE
The attention of management of Earl International Group [GH] Gold Ltd has been drawn to a press conference organized by some two groups that call themselves the Savanna Research & Advocacy Network (SRAN) and the Foundation for the Transformation of Marginalised Areas (TAMA Foundation Universal) on the above subject matter. The hastily circulated statement is entirely at variance with the intents and purposes of the exercise our company has embarked upon in the last three days.
The Earl International Group Ghana Gold Ltd. (EIGGGL) has a large scale concession area of 16.02Sq.Km in the Gbane mining Community. Prior to the grant of this large scale area, a number of small scale mining groups-licenced and unlicenced- existed in the area. Having successfully acquired the large-scale mining lease, EARL was confronted with the challenge of either coexisting with the small-scale miners over the same licenced area or finding an amicable exit plan for the small scale miners who hitherto occupied this area. It was however apparent both large scale and small scale operations couldn’t be on the same licenced area as such posed eminent dangers ans unsafe acts to either side. Together with government, an exit strategy was designed to have the small scale miners relinquish their interests in the area. Government quickly facilitated an agreement (MOU) between the small-scale miners and the company which among other conditions stipulated that:
i. Good will packages (compensation) be paid to the over 39 small scale mining groups that existed in the area. These 39 different groups have since amalgamated and become partners of the EIGGGL large scale business in Ghana.
ii. 2% of gold royalties be paid to the amalgamated small scale miners twice every year, to serve as alternative, sustainable income source to the concession owners
iii. 200 small scale miners’ employees/staff/workers be employed by EIGGGL as an alternative livelihood source to workers of the concession owners
iv. Small scale mining concession owners to disband their staff for onboarding into EIGGGL
An amount of One Million Dollars was expended in this exercise. In other words, the agreement was successfully executed with compensations duly paid, recruitment of workers ongoing and miners now awaiting payment of shares.
It has been the expectation of both parties- EIGGGL and government that these small scale miners would clear off the concession and to allow the company have unfettered access to its tenement and mine in very safe atmosphere. However, hundreds of these miners, including itinerant illegal miners, enter the existing small scale miners pits and access the underground tunnels of Earl on daily and nightly basis. The drill, blast support pillars, damage equipment, steal ore, attack company staff and mesmerize the company’s operations all time. It became imperative that management secures the concession properly for mining. Thus, a joint Military, Police, NIB, Minerals Commission force together with the company took the initiative to seal off all illegal mining pits WITHIN the Earl concession and LINKED to the underground operations. It can be recalled that in 2019, about 16 illegal miners sadly lost their lives following similar illegal entries into operational areas that exposed them to hazardous conditions.
It must be noted therefore that:
1. The exercise was to seal off illegal mining pits located within the company’s concession for these pits have become dubiously known for dangerous incursions by illegal miners which pose dangers to their lives as well as that of our staff.
2. Exercise is government sanctioned- led and monitored by the Minerals Commission, Military, Police, NIB and leaders of the small scale miners who signed up to the MOU. Those affected are illegal miners who on daily basis use the existing pits of the small scale miners who have subscribed to EIGGGL large scale business.
3. The company operates an underground mine and same has been the mode of operation in the last 13 years. This current exercise, which is in its 3rd day today, hasn’t impacted on the structures/crops/ or farmlands of the people that warrant the CSOs calls for compensation. Mind you, compensations have already been made for these areas. For the avoidance of doubt, the company will compensate any structures / persons/ farmlands that will be impacted as and when such situations come up.
4. Well meaning CSOs should be concerned about the safety of the people and the mine. Safety is the driving force of the current exercise. It is imprudent to describe a mine that is taking measures to forestall the recurrence of mishaps as an unsafe mine. The CSOs cant be seen to approbate and reprobate.
The company has taken stringent measures to protect lives and properties in the area. It is to this extent that since the 2019 incident involving the illegal miners, no such nasty situation has befallen us. We call on all well meaning publics to support our drive towards sanitizing the mining area. That way, more of these illegal miners can get decent jobs with the company and to lead responsible lives.
Currently, over 800 youth from the area have been employed. The Mine has recently begun the sinking of two new shafts under the large scale operations to add to the existing 5 shafts. This portends massive employment opportunities for all the- skilled and unskilled. It will therefore not be out of place to call on self-seeking budding organizations to join in the sensitization of our host communities to put themselves in readiness for the upcoming opportunities instead of the alarmists approaches adopted thus far.