Land compensation and community expectation in mining context: A case study of Ahafo Gold Mine

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The increasing industrial surface mining operations in Ghana and the consequent land takes have raised major issues regarding the nation’s compulsorily takings statutes in mining context. The seeming unfulfilled land compensation expectation in the mining communities has served as recipe for conflict between the mining companies and their host communities. Ahafo Gold mine project located in Brong Ahafo like any other mining project has suffered from such community concerns on compensation. Using mainly qualitative methodological approach, the thrust of the research, was to explore the legal provisions and principles in land acquisition and compensation system in mining context, in relation to community expectations in Ahafo – Ghana. This was executed with the view to identifying strategies that are likely to enhance the practices and principles in land taking and compensation for sustainable mining communities. The analysis of the results indicated that there exist limitations and gaps in the nation’s statutes on land compensation if benchmarked against other international standards. Other issues were lack of mutual understanding on scope and method of assets assessment as well as the incompetence of indigenous people in compensation negotiation. Generally the communities regarded their compensation expectations as normal based on perceived loss to the mine and quest for sustainability, while the company considered them as unrealistic and arbitrarily based. And the major sources of conflicts identified were unfulfilled compensation expectations, speculative developments and development constraints perceived imposed by the mining statutes. Based upon the analysis, it is reasonable to assert that is imperative to review and streamline the land compensation statutes and practices to facilitate sustainable mining. Also the situation requires strategies that will enhance assessment and negotiation of compensation as well as cause government to perform facilitative and reconciliatory role in the mining land taking process. And commit the three major actors in mining – the government, the community and mining company to land take management, and also implement payment of .a solatium or premium to compensate for the compulsory nature of the acquisitions.z
A thesis submitted to the School of Engineering (Department of Material Engineering), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, 2014