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Alex Gyan & 36 Others v. Newmont (GH) Gold Ltd.

Fact: The plaintiffs were farmers at Kantinka Kenyasi in the Asutifi North District of the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. The defendant is a mining company whose operations affected the houses/structures of the plaintiffs. Though the plaintiffs were required to be resettled under the laws of Ghana, the defendant decided to give monetary compensation to the plaintiffs, an amount the plaintiffs found inadequate. Attempts to resolve issues even with the involvement of layers on both sides did not yield result.

In December 2016, the defendant gave final notice to forcefully evict the plaintiffs from the land if they did not move away from the affected structures. Defendant further deposited waste rock along the paths and roads leading to and from the plaintiffs’ houses in order to compel them to submit.

Legal Strategy:
In December 2016, CEPIL filed a suit at the High Court (Human Rights Division) Accra on behalf of the plaintiffs alleging inter alia violation of the rights of the plaintiffs and for an order compelling the defendant to resettle and/or for appropriate compensation – at least to halt the imminent eviction of the plaintiffs during the Christmas break.

In Court, after close of pleadings the defendant raised a preliminary issue that under the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) the plaintiffs should first have gone to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources for a determination of whatever the plaintiffs were entitled to, before resorting to Court.

Ruling by the Court:
The High Court upheld the submissions of the defendant and on 10th July 2017, dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims and referred the matter to the Minister for the determination of the claims of the plaintiffs.

Determination by Minister:
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in 2018 determined that the defendant should resettle the plaintiffs by re-constructing their houses for them. The Minister however, added that this was on “humanitarian grounds”. Download Rulling...

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