Exton Cubic Group Ltd, the company embroiled in the Nyinahini Bauxite mining controversy has hit back at the Environment Protection Agency for suggesting the company did not have a permit to mine.
Spokesperson for the company Samuel Gyamfi, insists the statement issued by the EPA was "inaccurate" and a willful breach of natural justice.
According to him, the statement was riddled with hearsays and flawed in substance.
In a new twist to a controversy that has seen two ministers cross swords; NPP youth organizer filing a suit; Regional Minister seizing mining equipment and residents embarking on protest, the EPA has issued a statement insisting Exton Cubic Group Ltd did not have the requite permit for their operations.
“…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. This, therefore, means that the prospecting permits are no longer valid," the statement added.
But Samuel Gyamfi told Joy News the EPA statement is "sad and unfortunate."
"It flies in the face of rules which says a man cannot be judged unheard… Before you take a decision against anybody you need to at least give that person a hearing. Listen to the side of the company.
“We have not been given this opportunity under the circumstance. So we are shocked that the EPA will come to the media with this statement before they meet or write to us.
He said the EPA has not met Exton Cubic Group nor have they visited the Nyinahini site so on what basis will they conclude that the company is mining without a permit.
“That tells you this decision has been taken based on hearsays. The whole premise of the their press release is totally flawed.
He said the company is currently engaging in prospecting activities and not mining and for the EPA to issue a statement indicting it for mining is completely unacceptable.
On the issue about the seized equipment, Mr Gyamfi said they are counting on the intervention of the Lands Minister to have their equipment retrieved.
The Ashanti Regional Minister seized the equipment that was to be used for mining at the Nyinahini Bauxite site claiming he had not been informed and given the necessary documentation.