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Angry youth halt iron ore exploration in Oti Region

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Some 100 angry youths from Asato, a farming community in the Kadjebi District of the Oti Region, have obstructed a mining Company with heavy equipment from prospecting for the viability of Iron Ore in the Asato bloc.

The African Exploration Minerals Group is prospecting for the mineral in the enclave after Ghana Geological Survey feasibility have discovered commercial quantities of iron ore deposits in the enclave.

The youth, who wore red bands and chanted war songs, claimed they were not informed about the prospecting of Iron Ore in the Asato enclave, and expected the Company to have engaged them properly before any exploration could be occasioned.

Mr Boakye Danquah Budu, the Assemblyman of Asato Electoral Area, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that “the youth became incensed after realising that some heavy-duty mining machines have been sneaked into the forest zone of Asato for the purposes of mining without community animation.”

He said this singular act infuriated the youth, who said the events to the entry of the equipment was shrouded in secrecy and therefore the need to stop the exploration.

“Nobody in Asato is an animal, so we need broader consultation on prospecting of iron ore in the Asato enclave,” he added and to know the stakes.

Osabarima Osei Bonsu V, Paramount Chief of Asato Traditional Area, when contacted by the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the claim of the youth concerning the exploration and prospecting in the area “was not true” since there was a community engagement in 2023.

He said the Company is embarking on prospecting to ascertain the viability of the iron ore before actual exploration starts in two years’ time.

The Paramount Chief said there would be a meeting on Thursday, July 11, 2024, to trash out the issue.

The Kadjebi District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police, Mr Frank Nana Asomaning, led a Police cum Military detachment to the area to sanitise the situation and restore calm.

A Geological Survey feasibility has led to the discovery of 55.22 per cent weight and a higher grade of iron ore with possibility of prospecting in five communities; Asato, Wawaso, Gyamonome, Kosamba and Ketepii communities in the Kadjebi District.

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