The mining concession owners of the Swed Mining Company Limited, the gold mining company operating in Prestea-Obouho, the farming growing community under the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area in Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region have disclosed that the company has set aside Wednesday May 6, 2021 to fairly and equally pay cash crops compensation packages to some affected cocoa farmers in Prestea- Obouho community.
Speaking in an interview with Bizzygh.com, one of the concccesion owners of the company, Mr David Domenotey noted that the beneficiary farmers numbering eleven (11) were negatively impacted in the company’s Bondae mining project area.
In order to ensure transparent, probilitty and accountability in the payment of the compensation to the farmers, Mr Domenotey pointed out that the company has officially informed the state mining regulatory institutions in the area including the chiefs, Assembly members, key stakeholders, top officials of Prestea- Huni-Valley District Assembly, BNI officer of the area.
According to him, the arrangements for payment were arrived after the company has effectively engaged with the affected cash crop farmers in Prestea- Obouho community to verify affected crops and have agreed to pay compensation as the processes of counting loses were completed.
Prior to the arrangement for the payment, he noted that a meeting was held on Thursday, April 1, 2021, which was attended by the gold mining concession owners of the company and some affected crop farmers including some key stakeholders in the area.
Mr Domenotey pointed out that during that meeting it was agreed that the payment of the crops compensation would only going to be made to the farmers who had been seriously affected by the operations of the gold mining company.
The said meeting was chaired by the Mining Engineer of Swed Mining Ghana Company Limited, Mr James Adjei.
He stated that since the company has completed the assessment for each farm that has been impacted by its Bondae mining project activities”we have decided to pay out compensation on negotiation basis.”
Mr Domenotey on behalf of the Swed Mining Company Limited reiterated its commitment to act with integrity, trust and respect, and in ways consistent with “our social responsibility values and policies.”
In implementing thier commitment, he noted that the company assures all individuals with farms and immovable properties, which have or will be impacted by its Bondae mining project that they will be duly compensated consistent with the express provisions in the Minerals and Mining Law and relevant provisions in the Constitution of Ghana.
He said the company’s attention has been drawn to a number of grievances expressed recently by several members of the Prestea-Obouho community in connection to the company’s Bondae mining project and published in sections of the media.
Against this background, he said thr
“The company urged all affected farmers to continue to come to us directly with their complaints and grievances as has always been the case for an amicable settlement, through established and agreed-upon formal processes.”
“We assure them that, wherever appropriate as determined by these processes, their compensation will be paid in a timely fashion,” he said.
Section 73(1) of the Mining Law states that: “The owner or lawful occupier of any land subject to a mineral right is entitled to and may claim from the holder of the mineral right compensation for the disturbance of the rights of the owner or occupier in accordance with Section 74” – which deals with compensation principles.
Further, section 73(3) says that: “The amount of compensation payable…shall be determined by agreement between the parties, but if the parties are unable to reach an agreement as to the amount of compensation, the matter shall be referred by either party to the Minister…”
The Swed Mining Company Limited, for its part, has in the past and will continue to reach agreement with the affected parties in a mutually acceptable manner.
In all negotiations, he pointed out that the Swed Mining Company Limited has operated within the ambit of Ghanaian law and international best practice standards.
“We wish to assure all affected farmers and individuals that this practice will continue. It must be emphasized that the negotiation process has already finished in the regard to the eleven cocoa farmers who were negatively affect of our mining project and we are confident that we reach agreement on fair and adequate compensation with all owners and lawful occupiers. It is only after mutual agreement that compensation can be paid promptly,” he stated.
“The company once again assures all impacted persons who are yet to pay within its Bondae project area that we will continue to negotiate fairly and transparently through the existing channels in accordance with the law until appropriate compensation amounts are determined,” Mr Domenotey reaffirmed.