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Environmental journalists in the northern region worry over exploration of Sheini iron ore


The Media Advocates for Sustainable Environment (MASE), a network of environmental reporters in the northern region have called on government to tell the people of the north if the Sheini Iron Ore in the Tatale/ Saanguli district of the northern region has been given out for concession to a companies.

MASE is also calling for the disclosure of any contract agreement to the joint venture company Cardero, a Canadian mining company and Emma-Lands Ghana and the details of the said company.

Briefing the media in Tamale about the extraction of Iron ore at Sheini and its negative effects on environment, the National Coordinator of MASE, Npong Balikawu Francis said extracting sector particularly gold, iron ore, limestone and diamond could be an important source of development in northern Ghana.

In spite of its potential to turn over huge revenue for development, and job creation, mining communities continue to suffer from the environmental cost of mineral extraction.

 The network is worried about the wanton destruction of environment, pollution of water bodies, among others by mining companies. It said this has been a major concern for many Ghanaians culminating to the formation of an inter-ministerial taskforce to deal with the situation.

This, Mr Npong said needs serious intervention by individuals, organizations with interest in environmental sustainable management to play active role in helping to ensure that the environments are safe even as the mineral resources are exploited.

The northern region, Mr Npong said, is blessed with large deposits of one of the most precious minerals but the failure to take keen interest in how the ore is being managed will cost the region its share of the resources in the near future.  

The lessons from mining communities elsewhere in the country should give the people in the north a clue to the dangers associated with mining activities, especially environmental hazards, MASE coordinator added.

Mr Npong reminded the stakeholders in environmental sector and government about the mining communities and its environmental hazards adding that it should give the people in the region a clue to dangerous hazards associated with mining.

Media Advocates for Sustainable Environment is a network of environmental reporters formed in 2009 under the auspices of Rural Media Network (RUMNET), KASA environmental governance project.   MASE is working to promote best environmental practices for development and also educate people on sanitation, climate change issues and promote best agriculture practices. The Sheini iron ore was discovered in the 1960s and drilling exploration conducted between 1961 and 1965 by soviet geologist. The iron ore covers a very large area of the eastern part of the region.

The test was confirmed that Sheini iron ore deposit was the largest, finest and in commercial quantity in the whole of Africa.

The geological surveys have shown that, Sheini ironstone reacts extremely well to magnetizing reduction roast process, which reduces iron in the form of hematite (Fe2O3), to magnetite (Fe3O4) and ultimately to metallic iron (Fe0) and that its quality is incomparable while its quantity could be extracted continuously for 100 years.  



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