Ghana: Newmont ordered to resettle 23 mining-affected persons displaced to pave way for mining

Author: Francis Agbere, Extractive Industries Programme & Campaigns Manager for Oxfam, Ghana, in Oxfam, Published on: 5 June 2018

"A community challenges a mining company in Ghana, and wins!"

The scale of justice was tipped in favor of 23 residents of the mining-affected community of Dormaa Kantinka in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana when Accra High Court (Human Rights Division) ruled last July that the minister for lands and natural resources should intervene to support their resettlement. People living in nearby communities were displaced by the extension of Newmont (GH) Ltd’s Ahafo mine, a 2014 gold mining concession which required resettlement of affected occupants and landowners. This is one of many adversities that befall thousands of others across many mining communities in Ghana...

Four years ago when Newmont began expansion of its Ahafo concession, it initiated efforts to resettle affected persons in accordance with Ghana’s statutes. Records show that Newmont compensated 14 people through monetary compensation but indications are that they were given amounts as low as US$112 – which is less than a quarter of the current price of an ounce of gold. They also show the company failed to resettle 23 people, claiming they were not eligible. Attempts were made by those affected to resolve the resettlement matter with the company but nothing positive came of it...

...Oxfam-supported partners, Wacam and the Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), who have been standing up for the rights of mining communities for years helped to elevate their voices, before their hope was lost. The partners filed a lawsuit at Ghana’s Human Rights court in 2017...In compliance with the court order, the minister acted five months ago and thankfully, in favor of the people of Dormaa Kantinka.  His efforts, following a petition by Oxfam partners to make a good and fair deal for the community members, revealed a lot to be happy about. He directed Newmont to pay for temporary accommodation for the 23 affected persons for a period of six months and to subsequently build permanent places of residence for them within the next six months.

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Related companies: Newmont