Story by Dennis Asare
It has turned out that the Management of the Ghana Manganese Company Limited (GMCL) deliberately ‘misled’ government when they informed the Lands Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh that their weighing bridge had developed a fault and being repaired.
He had told TV3 that the Company’s weighbridge had developed and was being repaired.
But it turned out that the Company has not had any weighbridge since it commenced operations in Ghana.
This came to light when the Minister, officials of the Minerals Commission visited the Company in Nsuta on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
Aggrieved workers of the company told the minister that the information he gave to TV3 was fake, noting that the company did not any weighbridge that developed a fault.
According to them, it was only recently that the company brought in a weighbridge which was still being installed.
The Minister then clarified that the information he conveyed to the public was from the management of the company.
GMC owns and operates the Nsuta manganese mine in the western region of Ghana. GMC holds a mining concession for manganese over an area of 175 square kilometers in and around Nsuta in the Western Region of Ghana.
About a week ago, Government through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, asked GMCL to stop all mining, exploration, and export of minerals with immediate effect of causing alleged $360 million financial loss to the State.
The absence purportedly means that the actual tonnages of manganese exported by the company cannot be ascertained, with some analysts saying the state could have even lost more than $360 million.
The government, four days later ordered GMCL to resume its operations.
The decision, according to the statement, was taken after a two-day meeting between officials of government, including the Ministers of Lands and Natural Resources and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and GMCL on 6th and 9th August.
The meeting also involved top officials of the Minerals Commission, according to the statement.
The statement indicated that it was agreed during the meeting to expedite action towards resolution of the issues raised.
“In light of the good faith shown by the company to work with government towards amicable resolution, including the joint manning of the weighbridge and tonnages loaded onto ships to guarantee accurate computation of revenue, I have asked the company to resume its operations,” Mr. Asomah Kyeremeh said in his statement.
But the workers told the minister on Tuesday that his approach in shutting down the company was completely wrong.
However, the Minister indicated that it was not the government’s intention to ‘destroy’ Ghana Manganese Company.
He said Government was mindful of the need to protect the employments of the about 400 direct workers and 600 indirect workers.