The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has revoked the license of mining firm Heritage Imperial Company after it was found prospecting for gold in a forest reserve in the Ashanti Region.
The suspension of the license is to allow for investigations into the operations of the company in the Amansie Central District.
Sector Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, says the fate of the company will be determined after the investigations.
The Minister is on a fact-finding visit to the company’s concession following anti-galamsey clamp-down by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Small-scale Mining.
The task force had found the company has been operating illegally for which it seized its several excavators, vehicles and other equipment.
Preliminary investigations reveal out of three sites, only one was active, with the rest serving as camps for workers, reports Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah.
On October 20, 2018, the Ministry of Lands granted prospecting license to Heritage Imperial, a large scale mining firm in the Apamprama Forest, a hot spot for galamsey operations.
Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh’s announcement comes as managers of Heritage Imperial demanded release of seized equipment and apology from government.
“The licence of this company regarding Apamprama Forest will be revoked and I intend to do so very early Saturday morning…this is going to serve as a deterrent to other companies that are doing similar we have not seen or have that same intention.
“And when the license is revoked, until such a time that we are satisfied that they are going by the rules and regulations of mining we may not restore the license,” he said.
He stated, however, that where after thorough investigations they come to know that they should come back, they will be given their license to operate.
According to the minister, they have records to show that group companies had earlier been in the Apamprama Forest to mine.
”If that is correct, then it could be that Imperial Heritage might have come to inherit the debris and that could have put them in this trouble.
Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh, however, dismisses reports the presence of Heritage Imperial company in the forest reserve is illegal.
“For Imperial Heritage, their presence here [Apamprama Forest] is legal purposely for prospecting and not mining at this stage,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Forestry Commission says it has been taken stock of commercial value trees destroyed by the mining firm, as mandated by law.