The impasse between land owners of Akyem Kotoku in the Birem North District and Newmont Ghana Ltd has taken a new twist with the land owners vowing to give Newmont no peace until they get full compensation for the use of their lands for mining.
Spokesperson of the land owners, Mr. Ntiamoah Denkyira, has declared that, they will take all measures to protect their lands from being used for mining since Newmont Ghana has reneged on its promises.
“We will from today protect our land from being used by Newmont since they have refused to abide by their promise to pay what is rightfully due us after we agreed to call off our demonstration,” Mr. Denkyira said with anger.
His statement follows reports that Newmont had refused to abide by their assurance to pay the land owners some monies for the remaining years left on their compensation for land usage.
He was supported by their Public Relations Officer, Twumasi Darkwah, who said they would inform the police on their decision since all persuasions have failed.
A planned three-day demonstration was halted on the first day after a ten-day truce was reached to enable counsels for the two parties to enter into an arbitration process.
The truce, brokered by Nana Kwasi Amoh Tweretwah I, Kotoku Atingyasehene, who is also the Chairman of the Birem North Residents Association, the DCE of the area, Hon Raymond Damtey and officials of Newmont, at the premises of Newmont Akyem Mines, elapsed without any resolution to the problem.
Whilst continuing with the legal process, the land owners have disclosed their plans to exercise their rights to demonstrate until August 29.
The land owners claim that the amount given as compensation for their lands and crops destroyed for Newmont’s mining activities only covers a year, whilst the project is expected to last for 15 years.
The compensation package for the land owners, mostly farmers, for an acre of land to each landlord is six hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC600.00) an equivalent of about one hundred and thirty United States Dollars (USD130.00).
The compensation package for each acre of cocoa was seven thousand and two hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC7,200.00) or about one thousand and five hundred United States Dollars USD1500.00; an acre of citrus is four thousand and two hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC4,200.00) or about nine hundred United States Dollars (USD900.00) and same for an acre of palm trees.
The residents also claim Newmont failed to employ the youth of the area as part of its promises and commitment to the community.
Meanwhile, lawyer for the land owners, Sir Stephen Asante-Ansong, has assured that he would continue with the legal process to ensure that the rights of the land owners is guaranteed.