The management of Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited (PSGL), calls on the public to disregard allegations contained in a documentary run by Joy FM on Thursday, February 6, 2014, alleging that the company is engaged in activities that promotes illegal gold mining, as it is totally incorrect and unfortunate.
The misinformation, which was first broadcast by Joy FM on its Super Morning Show, and re-broadcast throughout the day on the network’s major news bulletins, in association with its affiliates, has no basis.
It is regrettable to say the least, that when our attention was drawn to the upcoming broadcast of the documentary, we had requested to give a preliminary response, but Joy FM did not give PSGL the opportunity to do so, and proceeded to misinform the public.
PSGL does not buy tailings from any illegal mining operators as alleged in the broadcast. In this respect, it is pertinent to inform the public that Small Scale Mining is covered by the Minerals and Mining Law. In the Joy FM documentary, “Small Scale Mining” was referred to as “otherwise known as galamsey”. This definition is wrong and unacceptable. It is, therefore, not all small scale mining operators that are operating illegally. However, the need for capacity enhancement to improve practices by many small scale operators, is an issue that requires a specific focus.
PSGL started treating tailings from registered small-scale mining concerns in and around Prestea in June 2004, in the form of toll treatment.
In addition to its own mining and exploration activities, Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited is in toll treatment agreement with registered small scale mining concerns to process mineralized dumps (tailings from small scale mining concerns). This is specifically aimed at eliminating the risk of dealing with individuals, possibly illegal operators.
Indeed, in recognition of the vital role PSGL was playing in the community, specifically in the area of the environment, in 2008 and 2009, the company was requested by the Prestea Urban Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to assist in the environmental clearing of cyanide bearing tailings from small scale mining activities that had blocked drainages and waterways in the Townships and could have chemical pollution implications. Documentary evidence attached.
PSGL also closely monitors the environmental impacts of its mining, haulage, and processing operations, to ensure a safe and healthy working environment in its operational areas. Notable among the impact mitigation practices carried out is the daily watering of haulage roads, and periodically watering of roads in and around the Prestea community. This, the company does, to reduce dust pollution within the community to the barest minimum and can be attested to by the community and the Urban Council among others.
Therefore, contrary to claims of environmental pollution against the company by Joy FM, PSGL assures the public that it has always remained environmentally responsible and responsive.
In addition to the tailings reserve inherited from the erstwhile State Gold Mining Corporation (SGMC) at its establishment, (approximately 3,000,000 tons of tailings), PSGL has a hard rock concession of approximately 87.99 square kilometers, on which exploration activities are ongoing. The claims by Joy FM that the company has no ore reserve or hard rock concession base, is therefore inaccurate.
The management of PSGL is therefore disappointed that Joy FM did not cross-check the allegations against the company with them, and went ahead to put out an unbalanced and biased story, which has unfortunately misinformed the public, disregarding the basic ethics of the journalistic profession which requires them to play their watchdog role with a high sense of responsibility, diligence and fairness. This has brought disrepute to the company and has unnecessarily embarrassed the government.
Finally, PSGL wishes to assure the public that it will continue to operate within the laws of Ghana as a responsible corporate citizen.