Some excavators were seen carving paths through the forest last week, sparking concerns that the concessionaire has begun mining bauxite there as part of the $2 billion Sinohydro agreement contrary to the guidelines governing the agreement.
Speaking to Class News, however, the Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, Mr Isaac Adonten, said there is no mining activity going on in the reserve, but rather an old path is being opened up to allow the Ghana Aluminum Integrated Development Corporation (GAIDEC) undertake a geological assessment.
He said: “The issue is that nothing is happening there; an old road, which has previously been in use, is being opened up to allow for the Ghana Aluminum Integrated Development Corporation to do what they call geological assessment or on the other way round, do exploration, that’s all.
“Apart from that nothing is happening, nobody is mining anything there, they are only making access roads to enable them have access to the old pit that has been dug inside the forest. What they’re going to do is basically a verification. They had information that this is how much is here, so they just want to do a verification to be sure the information they have is the right information”, he reiterated.
Last week, the Christian Council of Ghana joined calls by several non-government organisations and environmental activists to kick against plans by the government to mine in the forest.
The Christian Council said instead of mining, the government should rather establish a national park in the forest.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the assurance that the government’s plan to mine in the forest will not destroy the environment.
He believes that the technology to be adopted by the miners would reduce the impact of the mining activity on the quality of life of persons whose livelihoods depend on the forest’s resources while protecting the flora and fauna at the same time.