Affenyi and Others Vrs Abosso Goldfields Ltd [2018] GHASC 15 (8 March 2018)

Case summary

This was an appeal against the validity of an order to the Land Valuation Board to assess the compensation payable in respect of buildings and farms belonging to inhabitants of an old village.

The facts of this case were that the appellant, a mining company, requested the respondents and other inhabitants of a village, which adjoined its mining area, to vacate the village and paid them compensation for their buildings, which were later demolished. Section 71 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 1986, provided for compensation for disturbances to owners and occupiers of lands affected by mineral operations. The appellant argued that this compensation was limited to areas within the mineral operations and that these areas were not land designated within its mining lease.

The Supreme Court considered the lawfulness of the board’s decision to award further compensation under s71 of the act. It found that since the mining operations of the appellant affected the owners or occupiers of land they were entitled to statutory compensation. The court stated that whereas compensation for the buildings of the respondents was settled by agreement with the appellants, as permitted under s71(3) of the act, compensation for the disturbance of their farming activities at the old village was mandatory under the act.

The court, however, stated that the lower courts came to the right conclusion but their reasons were not sound in law. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed but the reasons were substituted for the Supreme Court’s decision.

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