…Accuses minister of peddling lies and misquoting laws to victimize company
The Communications Director for Exton Cubic Group Limited, Sammy Gyamfi, has expressed concerns over moves by the Minister of Land and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu, and other state agencies within the country’s mining industry to incriminate Exton Cubic Group Limited in the eyes of the good people of Ghana.
According to him, the minister’s citing Exton Cubic’s failure to obtain an environmental permit and operational permit for exploration for their operations is all false and an attempt by the NPP government to peddle lies and misquote its own laws just to victimize an innocent Ghanaian company.
On Monday, this week, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, described the mining contract issued to Exton Cubic as invalid, citing the company’s failure to obtain the necessary and relevant documents for their operation.
“The failure to obtain environmental and operational permits, as well as the various statutory infractions, leading to the purported grant of the three mining leases to the company renders the purported leases invalid and of no effect. In the circumstance and in accordance with Section 87 of Act 703, the three mining leases are hereby revoked,” Mr. Amewu said at a press conference in Accra.
However, Mr. Gyamfi, during an interview with this paper, described the minister’s statements as complete falsehood and lacks credibility.
He explained that Exton Cubic Group Limited yesterday took delivery of two official letters from the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources.
The first which came in around 10 in the morning informed them about the revocation of their three mining leases granted to them by the government on the basis of Section 87 of Act 703 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, followed by the second letter meant to replace the first letter and that also cited section 13 clause 2 and 3 of the same Minerals and Mining Act 703.
He said the referral of section 87 of the Act 703 as the basis for the termination of the Exton Cubit mining leases was a misinterpretation of the Act by the minister, and further revealed that that Act was rather referring to small scale mining companies and not a big mining company, like Exton Cubic Limited.
“If you take a look at the section 87 of the Mining Act carefully, it gives the minister the power to revoke mining license of small mining companies, it got nothing to do with even lease. It’s about mining license that is given to small scale miners. How do we quote this law to revoke a mining lease?” He quizzed.
The section 87 of the Minerals and Mining Act 703 states that “The Minister may revoke a licence granted under section 82 (1) where, (a) the minister is satisfied that the licensee has contravened or failed to comply with a term or condition of the licence or a requirement applicable to the licensee, (b) the licensee is convicted of any offence relating to the smuggling or illegal sale or dealing in minerals, or (c) the Minister is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so.”
Interestingly, Section 82 quoted earlier in Section 87 of the Act specifically referred to licence for small scale mining 82 when its states that “(1) Despite a law to the contrary, a person shall not engage in or undertake a small scale mining operation for a mineral unless there is in existence in respect of the mining operation a licence granted by the Minister for Mines or by an officer authorized by the Minister. (2) An application for a licence shall be made in a form the Minister may direct to the office of the Commission in the designated area and shall be submitted with a fee the Minister may determine. (3) Where a mineral licence has been granted over a parcel of land, another mineral licence of the same kind shall not be granted in respect of the same land.”