General News of Thursday, 14 June 2018
A Kumasi High Court has dismissed an application filed by Exon Cubic demanding compensation for the confiscation and detention for weeks of its mining equipment that were supposed to have been deposited at Nyinahin.
The equipment were seized by Mr Simon Osei-Mensah for allegedly engaging in illegal mining in the Tano-Offin Forest Reserve in the Atwima Mponua District in the Ashanti Region but later released on the orders of Kumasi Human Rights Court, presided over by Mr Justice A. Kwofa, adjourned the case to Monday, March 5, 2018.
The Company stated that the seizure and detention resulted in the loss of colossal amount to the company and therefore filed for some compensation and today June 14, 2018 set for the ruling.
But the court dismissed the application on grounds that since the company did not have a valid mineral right any attempt at commencing mining operations will amount to engaging in illegal mining also known as Galamsey and ought not to be countenanced by the Court.
In September 2017, Mr Osei-Mensah ordered the police to seize eight trucks, one caterpillar generating set and two container offices belonging to Engineers and Planners that had been contracted by the Exton Cubic Group for bauxite prospecting in the Tano-Offin Forest Reserve.
During the seizure, the company insisted that it had all the legal authorization from the government to work in the forest reserve.
However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu, explained later that the company failed to meet the legal requirements and, therefore, its lease was not valid.
He argued that the failure to obtain environmental and operational permits, as well as the various statutory infractions leading to the purported grant of the three mining leases to the company, rendered the purported leases invalid and of no effect.
Exton Cubic was granted a long lease concession by the previous government on December 29, 2016, a few days for it to hand over power to the new government.
Not satisfied with the development, the company filed an application for certiorari to quash Mr Amewu’s decision to revoke the mining leases to the company on September 4, 2017