By: Edzorna Francis Mensah
It has emerged that, the Seven Seas Salt Limited, a salt mining company at Adina in Ketu South Municipality has no permit to start any operation (s) at Adafienu, Hedranawo, Denu, Agavedzi and Blekusu enclave within Keta Lagoon Complex.
With regard to the Adafienu and Agavedzi-Blekusu Expansion Project, the Company initially submitted a separate Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on 7th July 2016. The process was halted following some disruptions at the Company’s site in June, 2017 by some community members. The company however re-submitted its application for the now Adafienu and Agavedzi-Blekusu project on 10″ June, 2021. An EIS of the project was submitted on 25th November 2021.
According to the Minister of Environmental, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kwaku Afriyie, “the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently under review and an Environmental Permit has not been issued yet”.
The Minister made this known on the floor of Parliament on 3rd November, 2022 when responding to a Parliamentary question filed by MP for Keta Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpe on “whether proper Environmental Impact Assessment was conducted before, a license issued to Kensington Industries Limited of Indian.
The EPA issued public notification on the EIS of the proposed Adafienu and Agavedzi-Blekusu project in the following print media: Ghanaian Times of 14′ October, 2021, 18″ October, 2021, jot January, 2022 and 20″ January, 2022 © Daily Graphic of 14 October, 2021, 18″ October, 2021, 18″ January, 2022 and 20″ January, 2022.
The Minster, however, submitted to the effect that, the Adina project had satisfied the permitting requirements of the Environmental Assessment Regulations of 1999 (LI 1653) which includes the submission of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) dated 14th December, 2012 after conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment and, an Environmental Permit was first issued on 10th September 2014 which expired on 9th March, 2016. The Company submitted its Environmental Management Plan for the Adina concession on 15th April, 2016 and an Environmental Certificate was issued on 11th January, 2019. The Certificate is valid for a period of three years.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues environmental permits and certificates after the minister responsible for mines has granted a mining license or lease to a mineral rights holder. Kensington Industries Limited (now Seven Seas Salt Limited since 2017) has two separate projects registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. The first is located in Adina with a proposed expansion to the Adafienu/Agavedzi-Blekusu areas.