The allodia owners of Bamiakor Royal Stool Lands, alongside accredited elders, traditional office holders, and principal kingmakers of the Gwira Traditional Area in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region, have come forward to dispute claims of illegal mining activities against the Okoben Mining Company Limited.
This Ghanaian-owned gold company, led by Nana Okoben Amponsah, has faced allegations of engaging in illegal mining, also known as "galamsey."
Contrary to the accusations made by some traditional rulers and chiefs, the defenders of Okoben Mining Company assert that the company has not been banned from conducting its legitimate gold mining operations on its legally acquired mining concession in Gwira Dominase.
The group firmly refutes the news that the company had been carrying out mining activities without proper authorisation or approval from regulatory bodies.
The defenders of Okoben Mining Company Limited, in a five-page petition dated September 19, 2023, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, stated that the gold mining company was not involved in any form of illegal mining within Ghana.
They vehemently denied the allegations asserting that these claims were fabricated to tarnish the reputation of Nana Okoben Amponsah, who has been a vital investor and supporter of their community.
The petition also highlighted that Nana Okoben Amponsah and his company have been diligently complying with the conditions and terms of their contractual agreement with both the government and traditional authorities in the Gwira Traditional Area.
Moreover, the allodial owners and elders of the Bamiakor Paramount Royal Stool Lands emphasised that Nana Okoben Amponsah had consistently supported the local communities by providing jobs, paying taxes and royalties, investing in community programmes and infrastructure, and assisting in times of need, such as during recent flooding incidents.
They urged the CEO of the Minerals Commission, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the NPP government to disregard the accusations against the company, describing them as baseless and malicious.
The group also expressed concerns about the psychological impact of these allegations on Nana Okoben Amponsah.