Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited, operating at Gban in the Talensi District of the Upper East, has been granted a 50-year lease to operate in the area.

Currently, two licensed mining groups in the area, Poobotaba and Yenyeya, are working on the land and Shaanxi Mining is expected to provide mining and other support services to them.

The lease for 71.16 acres of land is valued at GH?2,700,000.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Gbane Traditional Area and Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited indicated that over 90 percent of the money would be paid through projects provided in the traditional area by the Chinese Mining Support Company.

Secretary to Gban Traditional Council, Tiirong Zumah Yaro, at a news conference in Bolgatanga, said the lease agreement covered only the surface use of the land.

The projects under the agreement will include a one nine-unit classroom block with two offices and two storerooms to be constructed for the Gban community within the 2013 ? 2014 academic year.

Five public places of convenience (KVIP) shall also be provided for the community at various locations to be decided by the leadership of Gban.

Two scholarships shall be provided to brilliant but needy students from the community to pursue secondary and tertiary education in public institutions in Ghana.

As part of the MoU, Shaanxi Mining shall facilitate the teaching of Chinese language in Gban Basic schools to ensure that people in the community are able to interact with Chinese workers who will be coming to the area over the period.

?The company shall undertake repairs and maintenance of the road linking Gban Chief Palace, Detuk and Talusi within the Gban community; provision of one library and ICT facilities for the Gban community; provision of pool for the Gban community; priority of employment for members of the Gban community and provision of a Social Centre.?

According to Tiirong Zumah Yaro, investigations revealed that the Chinese Company had met all requirements in the Mining Industry in Ghana and had been duly registered as a Mining Support Provider in Ghana.

According to the Secretary to the Gban Traditional Council, even though there was no formal agreement with the Chinese Company over the years they had stayed on the same parcel of land, they had supported the community and even some institutions outside the community.

?So far, they have proved to be people we can stay with and have not shown any sign that will cause us to want to drive them out of the area. This M.O.U will be taken through all the legal steps to ensure full compliance by both parties. If we play our part and they also play their part as directed by the M.O.U, I am sure our community will be transformed together with the human resource there,? the Secretary said.

Per the Memorandum of Understand, if the lease agreement is not renewed at the end of the 50 years, the fixed structures being constructed by Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited shall become the property of the Gban Community.

Earlier visits to the Gban Community and the site being occupied by Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited revealed that the residential and office structures could be used for a secondary school or a start-up campus of a university or any tertiary institution or health facility.

Secretary to the Gban Traditional Council was hopeful that this would bring about peace in the area and assured that the Chief of Gban, Naab Zelson Nakahilad Pubortaaba Naabil was open for discussion from any aggrieved group in the area.

From Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga

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