The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor (MP) on Friday, August 5, 2022 opened a modernized community fitted with first-class roads, health, education and religious infrastructure for residents of New Biung and New Accra in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
The eco-friendly and well-laid-out community which was constructed by the mining firm Cardinal Namdini Mining Limited was in adherence with the Minerals and Mining Act of 2006 (Act 703) and the Minerals and Mining (Compensation and Resettlement) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2175) which enjoins mining companies to resettle persons who will be affected by their mining operations.
Addressing a gathering of Chiefs and residents at the ceremony, Samuel A. Jinapor commended the mining firm for delivering on the resettlement plan it agreed on with the Ministry and the Minerals Commission.
He remarked that the communities have been blessed with basic yet important amenities such as a healthcare facility, two schools with accommodation for teachers, three places of worship, electricity to all residential, and public buildings as well as street-lighting, potable water; and gravel roads connecting buildings.
Whiles assuring the residents and Ghanaians in general of government’s determination to make mining firms act within the confines of the mining laws, and appealed to the communities to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities to benefit future generations.
He appealed to the Chiefs and residents of the Communities to collaborate effectively with the firm to guarantee the sustainability of their operations and also, hope that the show of unity and cooperation exhibited in the resettlement process will be extended to the firm in their operations.
“Let me plead with all beneficiaries of these new communities, to take very good care of the facilities, maintain and manage them responsibly so that your children and grandchildren will also benefit from them. The processes leading to the construction of these new communities have been seamless, due to the cooperation of all stakeholders, including the chiefs and elders of Biung and Accra and the entire Talensi Traditional Area. I want to commend them, highly, for their cooperation and support which have brought us this far”, he stated.
Samuel A. Jinapor maintained that the relationship between the firm and communities must be strengthened to ensure a mutually beneficial and successful operation in the area and therefore, urged the firm to undertake developmental projects in the area and make the growth of the area a key part of its operations.
The Lands Minister reaffirmed government’s commitment to undertaking reforms in the mining "sector that will increase avenues for Ghanaian participation in the mining space adding that government intends to make Ghana a mining hub by establishing refineries centres and also ensuring efficient utilization of revenue from the mining sector.
“Government is, also, committed to ensuring that Ghanaians benefit from our natural resources, through policies such as value addition, local content and local participation. In the next few weeks, we will commission the first state-owned gold refinery, established through a public private partnership, to add value to our gold resources.
The Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Namdini, Luis Santana said the economic empowerment of the community members is at the heart of the company’s operations and stressed that it is the strategic objective of the company to empower residents and activate projects and policies aimed at developing the socio-economic architecture of the communities.
He disclosed that the company is working with an NGO called “Widow and Orphans Movement “to provide relevant support to the residents as they transition through the resettlement phase.”