Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has halted the mining-related activities of African Queen Ghana Gold Company (AQ Ghana Gold) in Apragya in the Ashanti Region for lack of a mining lease.

The EPA said in a statement that the affected company was in the process of renewing its two-year prospecting license, and was yet to receive a mining lease from the Minerals Commission, as well as an environmental permit from the EPA.

According to the regulatory agency, African Queen Ghana Gold Company only had a permit for prospecting but had set up a processing site for mining, which was prohibited. “It is yet to receive a mining operational permit from the inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission and to obtain an obstruction permit from the Water Resources Commission because it has created a fresh water dam in water way 500 metres away from the River Pra, thereby diverting the flow of water,” the agency disclosed.

Consequently, the mining firm has been ordered to stop operational activities at the site and to report at the EPA National Office in Accra. EPA Director of Mining Mr Michael Sandoh, said the company was asked not to install any processing material until they obtained the mining lease and the environmental permit, but they were doing otherwise, which he termed as ‘deceit of public office.’

“AQ Ghana Gold Limited on April 7, signed an undertaking with the EPA that the fleet of excavator trucks and mining machinery and equipments were for storage and safe-keeping, however, some of the equipment on site would be used for site/camp construction and if and when required would be used for social responsibility projects,” it said.

By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)

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