By Harald Eraker
- As we are only in the initial exploration phase we are as yet not fully briefed on the situation that you are describing. But we will be having a meeting with our partners St. Jude in November where we will address these problems, says Anders Hvide to NorWatch.
When he is confronted with to the local population's complaints, he admits that it is often difficult to communicate with people because of cultural differences.
- Often we are misunderstood as people do not realize that exploration is not the same as extraction. But it is evident that it is important to be open and informative right from the start, says Hvide.
As far as the compensation-issue and the conflict between the mining and agriculture are concerned, he replies that Ghana's authorities encourage extraction of minerals in order to bring in hard currency.
- Obviously, mining can be harmful to someone, but we wish to assume our part of the responsibility and provide the compensation that people are entitled to. Besides, we will also participate in building schools and infrastructure, and in this way make the people better equipped to meet the future and a development which will not be stopped, says the director of Mindex, who refers to experiences made in connection with the company's exploration in the Philippines.
- Large multinational foreign mining-companies often ignore the locals, and Mindex is more socialdemocratic than Canadian and American companies. But St. Jude Resources has been giving a favorable impression of themselves, and we will be addressing issues as we go along, concludes Anders Hvide.
Norwatch Newsletter 15/97