The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) of Ghana says that it Permit given to the Mining Firm Exton Cubic has expire due to none adherence to timelines. This was contained in a Press Statement issued on the Wednesday August 23, 2017.
The EPA Said
“The EPA granted the Environmental Permits to Exton Cubic Group Limited on 7th June 2016. The company among other conditions was to notify the EPA as soon as prospecting activities commenced and also to submit within three months from the date of issuance of the Environmental Permit a liability estimate of environmental degradation to enable the posting of the Reclamation Bond in line with Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulation 1999 (LI 1652).”
“Exton Cubic Group Limited unfortunately reneged on all these conditions.The prospecting permits are therefore no longer valid.”
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has in the interim said his decision not to allow Exton Cubic Group Limited to continue mining bauxite at the Tano-Offin Forest Reserve in the Atwima Mponua District, is not political but in the interest of the country.
Mr Osei-Mensah has seized equipment and logistics hired by the company for its operations, and has vowed not to release the equipment until the company produces documents to show they have been licensed to mine in the region. The equipment belong to Engineers and Planners Co. Ltd, a company owned by Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Dramani Mahama.
Below is the full statement:
EXTON CUBIC GROUP LIMITED’S ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT STATUS WITH THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
The attention of the EPA has been drawn to a situation that has arisen regarding an attempt by Exton Cubic Group Limited to enter the Nyinahin bauxite deposit area for the purpose of undertaking mining activities.
As a result of the public interest in the matter, the EPA would like to clarify the position of Exton Cubic Group Limited’s Environmental Permit status under its Mining Lease (that is a necessary condition for any mining activity).
The bottom line is that Exton Cubic Group Limited has not obtained the required EPA permit under its mining lease and therefore any attempt to enter the area for mining activity is illegal.
On 29th March 2016, Exton Cubic Group Limited applied for three separate Environmental Permits from the EPA to undertake prospecting of bauxite on its Mprasaso, Kiriyaso, and Kyekyewere concessions in the Ashanti region covering a total of 346.08 km sq.
The EPA granted the Environmental Permits to Exton Cubic Group Limited on 7th June 2016. The company among other conditions was to notify the EPA as soon as prospecting activities commenced and also to submit within three months from the date of issuance of the Environmental Permit a liability estimate of environmental degradation to enable the posting of the Reclamation Bond in line with Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulation 1999 (LI 1652).
Exton Cubic Group Limited unfortunately reneged on all these conditions.The prospecting permits are therefore no longer valid.
Exton Cubic Group Limited subsequently acquired a Mining Lease on 29th December 2016 from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, This mining lease requires a new EPA permit which has not been granted by the EPA. The EPA’s discussions with the company and its consultants indicated that the following documents are required to support their application for in EPA permit under its Mining lease:
• Submission to EPA of a “No objection” letter from Cabinet;
• Completion and submission of statutory environmental assessment form (EA2); and
• Notification from the EPA to the company to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment which would have led to a broader public consultation and “public hearings’ within the relevant catchment communities in line with Regulation 17 of the Environmental Assessment regulations, 1999 (LI 1652).
Failure of the company to comply with the above stated conditions as at the time of the issuance of this press release has rendered all environmental permits null and void, Again, the EPA wishes to state that any mining activity to be conducted by the Exton Cubic Group Limited within the concession areas, of which Environmental Permit is being sought is not consistent with the Environmental Assessment Procedures of the EPA, LI1652 and is therefore illegal.