Source: Post Courier
K92 Mining Limited says claims about it not honouring commitments engaging landowners in its operations were unfounded.
Chief operating officer John Lewins said since recommencing operations K92 had built up a formidable workforce of 500 with contractors on site including 300 employees alone from Bilamoia and associated landowners.
Mr Lewins revealed this when responding to threats by Bilamoia landowners to shut down the mine claiming K92 had not honoured commitments on the engagement of their people under a memorandum of agreement.
Mr Lewins said K92 Mining understands that the first meeting of a group of landowners occurred on Sunday August 13, but K92 was not represented at this meeting as it was understood this would deal with internal issues for BILA and its stakeholders.
He said K92 Mining understands that the BILA is still to determine whether they will use the existing Bilamoia Development Corporation (Bildevco) or a new business entity to participate in business opportunities created by the company and its suppliers. He reiterated this is a matter for BILA and not K92 Mining.
“There are however many business ventures which Bildevco and Bilamoian landowners are participating in, including the mine catering contract, provision of security services and refuse collection, as well as numerous small business opportunities including maintenance, supply of mobile plant and installation of infrastructure.
“The expansion of the business opportunities of which K92 Mining has identified a number, has been awaiting the formation of a single Bilamoian body to represent the landowners, which was only recently solved with the formation of BILA, and the decision of BILA in relation to the business entity,” he said.
According to Mr Lewins, BILA was established in 2017 with the assistance of the MRA to bring together different Bilamoian groups into one association and the chairman was elected in April 2017.
The association is termed interim as finalisation of who constitutes Bilamoian landowners awaits the outcome of an appeal of the Land Titles Commission determination of 2009. Mr Lewins adds that the mine remains committed to all existing agreements with all landowner groups and to expanding the business opportunities for them.