Savanna looks to mine limestone in forest reserve, Ghana

Savanna looks to mine limestone in forest reserve, Ghana
Published: 11 May 2015

Savanna Cement Co Ltd has applied to the country’s authorities to be granted a 49.98km2 concession in the Yakombo Forest Reserve, Central Gonja District, Ghana, to mine limestone deposits in the area.

The proposed limestone mining project will be undertaken on a 2.68km2 area within the 49.98km2  concession as the limestone deposits are scattered within the area.

Savanna Cement, which uses local materials to produce cement at Buipe, has conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project and submitted the report to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for analysis and approval. A public hearing was held on Friday at Buipe in the Central Gonja District to seek inputs from stakeholders regarding social concerns and the potential environmental implications of the proposed mining project on the catchment area.

Presenting the technical report on the proposed mining project at the public hearing, Anthony Manu, Consultant to Savanna Cement, said the move was to find additional resources to support as well as extend the operations by 15 years.

During questions and answers session, it was clear that the chiefs and residents of Buipe and its environs welcomed in principle the proposed limestone mining project, but raised concerns on its implications on the environment and their livelihoods. Some called on Savanna Cement to propose an alternative means of livelihood for women whose farms would be affected as a result of the destruction of some of the Shea and Dawadawa trees in the forest. Buipewura Jinapor II, Paramount Chief of the Buipe Traditional Area, was concerned about the implications of the project on the lives of residents of the catchment area and called for effective measures to mitigate the impact.

Mr Abu Iddrisu, the Northern Regional Director of the EPA said the concerns raised would be incorporated into the draft EIA for Savanna Cement to address before a permit could be granted. (Source: Ghana News Agency)