Home Opinion Featured Articles Open Letter: Ewoyaa Lithium Deal Ratification by MPs

Open Letter: Ewoyaa Lithium Deal Ratification by MPs

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Ghana Parliament
Parliament

Dear Hon MPS of the Parliament of Ghana.

First of all, let me use this chance to wish everyone of you a very prosperous new year. 

Hon MPs, on the front burner in the last quarter of 2023 were some bones of contention especially the proposed mining of Lithium at Ewoyaa, with one school of thought with the feeling that the Deal between the State and Atlantic Lithium for the project is the best so far in the Country and the other School of thought with the mistaken belief (misconception) that the deal will rip off the Country. 

Among other debatable matters were on the need for the Country’s good control of the lithium resources by ownership wholly or jointly, or level of Ghana’s interest with respect to royalties and carried interest as in the draft Deal. Further matters were that why no bidding or a tender process and others especially a paramount Chief were with the misconception that the deal was opened since it will allow the extraction of any other associated minerals found on the land. 

Hon MPs, based on the above issues, the affected CSOs and others urged you, the Hon MPs not to ratify the deal. Aside speaking that the deal was an extension of the colonial mentality on payment of royalty etc, the affected CSOs as at date woefully failed to present alternative agreement based on the parameters of International Laws and Ghana Investment Promotion Act 2013 (Act 865) on Foreign Direct Investment and the relevant laws and Regulations on Minerals and Mining as enacted by Parliament of Ghana, your august House.  

They woefully failed to appreciate the concept of rule of law which state that laws or not men rule thus related to Constitutionalism, since the Constitution of Ghana guarantees human rights thus abhors or prevent arbitrary use of powers. The Constitution abhors nationalization, so Large Scale Mining is constitutional granted against Nationalization and expropriation and affected Companies have the right resort to the Supreme Court of International fora in resolution of any dispute.   So you are by the provision of good faith to approve the deal.

 No law in the Mining Sector speaks of a tender process as pertaining in the Petroleum sector. They must also take note that no Constitutional injunction or legal requirement that places a particular mineral or minerals including radioactive minerals as not susceptible to concession to Private Companies and thus may be exploited only by the State or its enterprise etc. Furthermore, they should be educated that Atlantic Lithium Ltd acquired the Concession through Corporate acquisition hence based on the laws of Ghana including the Minerals and Mining Laws of Ghana and both Ghana laws and International laws protect foreign  investors from expropriation, unfair treatment etc insofar as conduct is not attributable and not covered by reservation.

  

Hon MPs, both the Executive Arms of Government which initiated the deal and the Legislature Arm of Government which is to ratify the deal of the Executive must act within the 1992 Constitution and the existing laws of Ghana at the time of the deal. They are not to do so due to the whims and caprices of the President of Ghana or Hon MPs or take negative actions in response to sentiments of populists or the gullible public otherwise the jurisdiction of Supreme Court of Ghana and or any of the International fora (Courts etc) will be invoked to put sanity (common sense) into the matter in the Country.  Hence, this submission is an attempt to provide some answers to some of the issues and thus guide you to do the right thing. 

Hon MPs, before expatiating on the subject, in order to help you during the scrutinizing of the deal when presented for ratification in March 2024, pardon me to brief you on lithium in general for you to come out with the best for the Country. 

Lithium is a chemical element or metal. It belongs to a family known as Group One in the chemical periodic table with hydrogen and other alkali metals like sodium, potassium. They are Alkali metals because they have only one valence electron in their outer shell. Alkali metals react with water to form hydroxides ions creating alkaline solution.  The Alkali Group elements are also said to belong to the lithium family because lithium comes before them with atomic number 3, whilst sodium and potassium are of atomic number 11 and 19 respectively.

 

Alkali Metals have almost the same physical and chemical properties like silver white or termed as white gold, high thermal and electrochemical potential (electrical conductivity), and inflammable and very reactive especially with water, As alkaline substances they are termed bases in Chemistry and use with water to neutralize acid. They corrode in air to a dull silvery grey and then black tarnish.    

 

Lithium is classified as silicate mineral, it is used for the production of glass, aluminum products, manufacture of lubricants, grease, rocket propellants, used in aerospace, ceramics. It   is also used in the pharmaceutical industry for the manufacture of medicine with lithium carbonate or lithium citrate to treat serious mental illness etc. 

 

It is used in manufacturing of batteries of smartphones, laptops, watches etc. Lithium is a critical mineral in the power infrastructure for the fight against climatic change or for the efforts to reduce carbon emission or footprint hence the transition from fossil fuel to electrical system for the manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (EVs), rechargeable batteries and grid storage energy/renewable or clean energy  

 

Lithium is mined from two main sources namely from Special igneous rocks and from brine solution from Salt Lake or the sea water. They are various special rock types of lithium ore. These include petalite, lepodite and spodumene.  As stated these types of lithium ore are found in special igneous rocks termed as pegmatic by geologist. Lithium mining from hard rocks are very expensive to mine. 

 

The lithium ore in the Ewoyaa Concession to be mined by Barari DV of Atlantic Lithium is of igneous rock type and is rich in type spodumene. Extraction of lithium from the Rocks involves several processes including (a). Mining from the field, (b). Haulage to the plant, (c). Concentration (stockpiling and crushing of the rock to release the various minerals). (d). Metallurgical or Chemical processing (by roasting, leaching and precipitation in tanks etc) to extract lithium compound or mica and (e) lastly it is processed further by a term as lithium Conversion involving the extraction of lithium from the lithium compound or mica to produce lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, or other lithium compound depending on the desired end for an alloy (mixture of chemical elements of which one is a metal and will retain all the properties of the metal in the resulting material). 

Extraction of lithium from brine (salt lake or sea water). Lithium like Sodium has solubility property as an ion, so it is present in sea water or subsurface as brines which is rich in lithium carbonate which is very cheap to mine by pumping brine solution into evaporation ponds for solar evaporation for 12 to 18 months to increase the concentration of brine to 6000 ppm Lithium for optimum concentration of lithium chloride.  The liquid concentrate is then pumped to a recovery plant and treated with soda ash for the precipitating of lithium carbonate, it is then filtrated, dried and shipped. By these two methods of extraction of lithium, Small Scale Mining by Galamasey or artisanal mining of lithium is envisaged like what is happening in Nigeria.  

 

Per the deal, Atlantic Lithium Ltd through Barari DV is to export some of the Lithium ore in the form of Spodumene to an Off Taker in USA which also funded the exploration and is funding the mining of lithium. The remaining percentage of the ore is to be refined in a Lithium Refinery either owned by Atlantic Lithium or a third Party. This area should be of major interest to Ghanaians especially businessmen and women or Professor Gyampo and his people in the Central Region or some Universities of Ghana to sign an off taker agreement with Barari DV with the help of the Government of Ghana and get Foreign business partners to establish a Lithium Refinery in Ghana for value addition for the benefits of Ghana. 

 

 Hon MPs no body spoke or is speaking about the side effects of Lithium mining to call for strict environmental laws and regulations for the Mining Companies and ensure a total ban and strict enforcement by the Police/Military on small scale mining of lithium. Otherwise Alternatives to lithium battery etc or the mining for extracting lithium from seawater. 

So, it is unfortunate that the matters on the front burner which people are running amok with, as typical of the Ghanaian is only of the economic aspect (wealth and labour matters) and little is said about the social, environmental and political concerns. This include the risks associated especially the likelihood of small scale mining of lithium, which is likely to be alleged as God given bonanza for the people of the associated rural areas to escape from their poverty misery as happening at Ada Songhor lagoon with Sodium (a sister of Lithium) or Salt extraction in the Concession of Electrochem Ghana Ltd, a subsidiary of the McDan Group). The side effects of lithium mining is very serious and therefore need your attention to help shape regulations. 

 The Environmental and Social costs by Lithium mining by the rocks will result in land and environmental degradation. Hence, displacement of famers and relocation of some settlements and may be cemeteries and shrines will be encountered. 

Lithium extraction requires a lot of water. For instance to extract one ton of lithium requires five hundred thousand (500,000) liters of water hence may result in  the pollution or poisoning of water in reservoirs and health problems.

 Lithium extraction also results in potential carbon dioxide emission because the production of lithium battery weighing 1,100 pounds emits over 70 percent more carbon dioxide and increase in respiratory problems.

The side effects will call for good measures by strict environmental regulations/laws monitoring by Land Commission, Water Commission, Forest Commission, EPA, and Atlantic Lithium Ltd/Affected Communities.  Otherwise not allowing the mining of Lithium so that global search for alternative solution to lithium batteries, hence Sodium batteries etc or recycling and increasing the lifetime of lithium batteries. Otherwise, advance mining by limiting the extracting lithium from seawater.   

 Though S&P500 Global Market report indicated that the Price of Lithium decreased by 35% and kept dropping since 2019 due to oversupply and the demand for Electric Vehicles (EVs) rising slowly, it is claimed that growth will rise by 22% per year forecast from 2020 to 2025 with the main drivers as the manufacturing EVs, glass, ceramic, lubricants, grease, manufacture of lithium battery, glass for smartphones, air treatment, and pharmaceuticals etc.

Hon MPs, let me reiterate that the mining of the lithium is to be done through a special purpose vehicle called Barari DV, a subsidiary Company of Atlantic Lithium Ltd. Atlantic Lithium Ltd is an Exploration Company from Australia which is registered in both the London Stock Exchange and Australian Stock Exchange.

Hon MPs for the purpose of fairness/good faith, you need to appreciate the state of affairs of some businesses especially in the Mining Sector in this Country. Note that some Mineral areas or Concessions are owned by some Ghanaians and the laws of Ghana allow Foreign Direct Investment in the Large Scale Mining Sector, solely or Foreigners in Partnership with Ghanaians in Large Scale Mining or foreigners providing support services to the Mining Sector. 

So Atlantic Lithium Ltd as a foreign Mining Company with the support of a Ghanaian Law Firm was enticed by local collaborator(s) into the Large Scale Mining Sector of Ghana based on the existing International and Local Laws governing Foreign Direct Investment and the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703) with the associated Amendments. 

The Atlantic Lithium Ltd or Ewoyaa Lithium deal is an International Agreement with Ghana Government, since it is between the State and a foreign Investor hence, an International Agreement thus requires approval by Parliament as required at Section 5 of Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. 

Also as an agreement related to Natural Resources in the Mining Sector, it will require ratification by Parliament hence by Hon MPs as required at Article 268 of the 1992 Constitution. Once again, let me say that this submission is to guide you in ensuring the right thing is done as required by the Constitution of Ghana, International Laws and Local Laws of Ghana governing Foreign Direct Investment and National laws on Large Scale Mining and not by the sentiments of the gullible public, populists or the whims and caprices of CSOs or some Intelligentsias.    

Hon Members by your oath of office for your Parliamentary duties especially the duty of scrutinizing the actions of Government (Executive Arm) among others, you will be required to ensure that the draft deal between the Executive Arm of Government and Atlantic Lithium Ltd on the planned activities of Atlantic Lithium Ltd in Ghana precisely at Ewoyaa  meets the interest of the affected constituents of Central Region and  are going to be  in compliance with or do not violate the 1992 Constitution and enactments passed by Parliament of Ghana. Hence, by Article 107 of the 1992 Constitution, you will be required by the Constitution of Ghana to be guided by existing laws at the time of the draft deal and nothing else.   

The Minerals and Mining law 2006 (Act 703) speaks on the various mining license or rights include Reconnaissance License, Prospecting license, Exploration License, Mining Rights either Small Scale Mining  Licenses and Mining Lease for the Large Scale Mining sector. So you are to confirm the right system were met in the Deal.

The relevant laws for investment in the Large Scale Mining Sector include Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act as upgraded to GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865) on Foreign Direct Investment which grants exclusively right to the investors. Business Incorporation by Company Codes 1963 and Incorporated Private Partnership Act 152 upgraded by Companies Act 2019 (Act992) and the Incorporated Partnership Act 1992 (Act152) respectively. Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703) with the subsequent Amendments as Act 2015 (Act900) and Act 2019 (Act995).  

Other laws are Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999 (LI1652) especially on Reclamation Plan for restoration of the environment and payment of Reclamation Bond as well as a the buying or acquisition of social license from the affected Communities through a Public forum (stakeholder engagements) with the affected communities to elucidate matters on a report of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and remedial actions. Also are the Water Commission Act 1996 (Act522), and Forestry Commission Act 1999 (571). The Act 703 is supported with updated Minerals and Mining Regulations through Legislation Instruments. Also of importance is adherence to Local Governance Act 2016 (Act 936). 

Hon MPs, relevant subsidiary laws include Minerals and Mining (General Regulations) 2012 (LI 2173), Minerals and Mining (Support Services) Regulations 2012 (LI 2174), Minerals and Mining (Compensation Regulations) 2012 (LI 2175), Minerals and Mining Regulations 2020 on Local Content and Local Participation Regulations (LI 2431). This last one set out a requirement of the usage of Ghanaian expertise, goods and services, businesses and financing in the mining sector. 

Hon MPs, Section (6) of Article 257 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana put all Minerals in their natural state as the property of Ghana and vested in the President in trust for the People.  This also conform with a subordinate law at section (1) of the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703) as enacted by you Hon Members of Parliament of Ghana. Hence the action by the Sector Minister is in line with this provision.  

 Ghana  laws on Minerals and Mining  delineate Minerals Concessions  into three types namely Radioactive Minerals like Uranium etc,  Precious Minerals like Gold and Diamond Concession or Industrial Minerals  like Manganese,  Bauxite Limestone, basalt, clay, laterite, granite,  Salt or Brine  is regarded as Industrial Mineral hence include Sodium thus places  Lithium which is the same class as Sodium as Industrial  Mineral, since Lithium aside from some rocks is also sourced from Salt Lake as Brine. It is therefore strange that CSOs and others are not supporting the good work of Electrochem Salt Ltd of the McDan Group to mine salt at Ada Songhor Lagoon for national wealth. 

 Hon MPs, no law that speaks of any of the industrial mineral as a strategic or critical natural resource or mineral. So, the term green minerals or critical minerals in the public domain is therefore alien to the Minerals and Mining Laws or the Constitution of Ghana and should remain in the public domain for educational reasons or drinking bar politics until it is included as part of the laws of Ghana or with appropriate mining policy and clear interpretation. 

The laws of Ghana require accountability transparency, probity hence  free, prior and informed consent from the affected catchments areas for the social license  before the permits namely environmental and mining permits) are issued to the Mining Company, namely Barari DV by the  Minister for Environment and the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources respectively. You need to confirm Stakeholders engagement or Public Forum was organized and it was successfully done, if yes approve it.

Hon MPs, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as made by Atlantic Lithium Ltd in Ghana is governed by both International Law and Local or Ghanaian Laws especial Ghana National Investment Business Code Ghana as stipulated in the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act as upgraded to GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865). It is defined as purchase of an asset in another Country such that it gives direct control or exclusively right over the asset by the buyer. So you are to be guided by this, you could please confirm this at the Interpretation Section at Section 43 of GIPC Act 2013 (Act865).

Both International Laws and Local or Ghanaian Laws especial Ghana Investment Business Code as stipulated in the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act as upgraded to GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865), speak of FDI as a class of Cross Border investment in which an investor resident in one economy establishes a lasting interest in and a significant degree of influence over an enterprise resident in another economy. Section 25 of the Minerals and Mining Law as Amended in 2015 as Act 900 speaks of royalty as not above 6 percent for a very good reason despite the very good price of an ounce of gold which was about 2,000 US Dollars in 2015. So ignore the ugly noises.

Subsection (1) of Section 43 Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act703) speaks of 10 percent free carried interest to be owned by the Government of Ghana in respect of mining operation which financial contribution shall not be made by the State. Subsection 2 of Section 43 Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act703) allows the Government of Ghana to participate in Minerals operation if deemed ok this may be agreed by the Holder. So matters as per the laws of Ghana as in section 2 of 43 of Act 703 must be by gentleman negotiations by the Parties (the President of Ghana through the Sector Minister and the Company and not by patapaa or the Builsa way (aggressive postures). 

It is heartwarming to note that the deal has taken care of Royalty requirement as required at section 25 of Minerals and Mining Law 2015 (Act 900 and the requirements under Section 43 of Act 703, with about six percent shares in the Parent Company of Atlantic Lithium and floating of shares of Barari DV or Atlantic Lithium in Ghana with about 30percent to be reserved for Ghanaians Citizens etc. Laws on Local Content and local participation were/are factored in the Deal. 

Professor Gyampo etc should spend his energy and expertize  to organize his people or lobby for some of his people to be given juicy supply chain contracts especially haulage etc to create more Ibrahim Mahamas of Engineers and Planners or Kwasi Ofori of Rocksure International etc.   Ghanaians can also consider to lobby for off taker agreement to receive lithium ore for value addition by the establishment of a refinery solely or with foreign partners.

Ghana Government should restrict herself with making of good laws. Regulations and ensure the strict enforcement of same and should not venture into mining or in the refinery of lithium. This assertion is based on our poor performances in establishing a Sugar Production Series (Sugar Plantation, Sugar Mill and Sugar Refinery) in Ghana.  The story of Komenda Sugar Factory speaks volume of our incompetency especially a poor understanding of the economics of Sugar Production Series as Import Substitution. We also demo gross incompetency in the managing of ex-GNTC, TOR, ECG etc. So no, no in mining by the State. The State should encourage or support Ghanaians to do so in the Private Sector.

Hon MPs, it must be noted that almost every metal mine in the World produces more than one element product. For example in a Gold Mine, the main mineral is gold but it is normal found with silver and or copper as byproduct. So, depending on the rocks involved, some mines produce a single metal almost exclusively but most mines produce a major product and various byproduct metals. 

Gold, silver and copper often occur in the same mine. Gold and silver are mostly found together. It is hard to get gold from a mine without silver.  More than one Metals occur in minerals and minerals with similar characteristic occur together because they occur in their associated groups as a rule. Gold is common with copper and silver and not with iron.

 Based on the above situation, Section 15 of the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act703) deals with Amendment of Minerals Right to add other minerals to take care of discoveries of minerals not included in the Minerals Right.  Also Minerals and Mining Regulation as enacted in 2012, also captured this state of affairs which must be accounted through assay by a standard laboratory to the Minerals Commission, Bank of Ghana, at the Mine is the State Rep from GRA which normally deploys a Custom Officer with Chemistry Background at the Site of the Mine of Large Scale Mining Companies to ensure the exact sales of all minerals based on Laboratory Assay. 

The Custom Officer normally deployed by GRA at each Mine, is to work with the relevant Departments of the Company especially the Finance in terms of the final sales, Security for security cover, the Metallurgy to account for all minerals produced and Bank of Ghana on exact foreign revenue matters with regards to the Sales. The receiving Refinery or buyer of mineral also requires the details of the main mineral and the byproducts as assayed by a standard laboratory. This details are confirmed by the Refinery by further laboratory analysis and reconciliation are made by the Mining Company and the Refinery or buyer to ensure the exact payment. Payments or sales of minerals are well communicated to Bank of Ghana etc. 

A very interesting example is Grasberg mining Company in Indonesia, It is a Copper Mining Company (that is granted only Copper Lease as the main mineral metal) but the value of the byproduct which is gold is found in the copper during laboratory assay is reported worth more than the copper mined by the Company as per the lease granted.  

So, Grasberg Mine in Indonesia though regarded as a copper mine per the lease is one of the biggest Gold producing mines in the world, but as stated it is not a gold mine but a Copper Mine which as results is required to account the sale of the main product as Copper and the sale of the by products which are gold and silver.  As at end of 31 Dec 2020, Grasberg Indonesia, proven and probable minerals reserves were 33.4 billion pounds or 15.1 million tonnes of copper, 28.3 million ounce of gold and 130.6 million ounces of silver as declared to the State and the Capital Market.

Also Goldcorp Penasquito mine in Mexico is a silver Mining Company but it produces gold, silver etc as byproduct, so the policy of Transparency integrity requires accounting for each mineral but the sales are declared as sale of the Silver Mine to the Market since cash flow is of essence. 

Based on the above info, our respected Dormaahene (Paramount Chief Dormaa) and others are hereby assured that the issue of associated minerals is not a problem because other minerals other than the main named mineral or all the minerals as per the lease are required by International law or Transparency Integrity policy of the Capital Market, the Off taker agreement with the receiving Refinery or buyer to be accounted for and form part of the sales from which Royalties, tax etc are computed and paid for. 

It will be very good advantage of Ghana to get Barari DV to start mining of the Lithium in good time. This is very import to ensure that beside gain from good prices for Lithium as projected to rise yearly, some related infrastructure,   before the World Start to employ the Alternatives to Lithium-ion especially Sodium which has better physical properties aside weight issues and chemistry properties as less inflammable better energy density than lithium for Sodium to replace or compete with lithium for production of batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage., 

Early granting of the green light to Atlantic Lithium Ltd will help Ghana to attract lithium ore from other countries including Nigeria when a refinery is established by Atlantic Lithium Ltd or any investor as well as produce a lot of Ghanaian mining experts in lithium for the global market and thus the Ghanaian experts will earn more foreign revenue for Ghana.  

Hon MPs, let me reiterate that we need not to waste time in granting the green light to Barari DV because as stated researchers globally aside our local ones are looking for substitutes for Lithium for making batteries for Electric Vehicles (EVs), grid storage etc. Qualities being soughed include superior performance  in terms of over a wider temperature range, Improved safety, energy density (storage of more energy  in a smaller space especially for EVs where space and weight  counts , efficiency, simplicity, battery stability environmentally friendly,  more sustainable, future friendly, longer life span etc. Aside the weight problem Sodium is rivaling Lithium.   

Some of our fellow Nationals failed to appreciate that nothing ventured nothing gained, so we should be grateful that this deal will give Ghana a better stake in the mining sector and the more Barari DV gains, an increase in the gains of Ghana is expected without cost. So the earlier both parties work hard for the establishment of the Mine to enable both parties make substantial gains from Lithium before commercial production of substitutes especially an improved Sodium-ion Battery (SIB) which has recently attracted great attention of China, Sweden etc due to the abundant Sodium resources, hence low cost. 

Furthermore, Sodium is more environmental friendly, not very reactive, not inflammable hence may serve as alternative to Lithium-ion Battery (LIB). So, Researchers globally with the exception of Ghana are working very hard and rapidly to change the narrative. 

 

 Researchers in Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have shown that Sodium-ion battery has an equivalent climatic impact as their Lithium-ion competitors without the risk of running short supply of Sodium. It is alleged that Sodium batteries (Sodium-ion batteries) will soon be regarded as better alternative to lithium-ion batteries in terms of chemical property especially when combined with Oxygen to form oxide, issue of grid storage capabilities and issues of safety (lithium tend to be highly reactive, inflammable or highly combustible than Sodium in the same family or group as Alkali metal). Also in terms of minerals resources scarcity and equivalent in terms of climatic impact as stated, Sodium has better advantage.

 

 Sodium-ion batteries give a more sustainable alternative to Lithium due to massive abundance of salt in sea water, so no supply problem will be met thus afford very low-cost alternative for energy storage. Researchers within the University of Maryland’s A James Clark School of Engineering have developed a NASICON based solid-state Sodium battery that outperforms current Sodium-Batteries due to ability to use sodium metal as the anode with high density.

 

For the above reason, we need to quickly give unflinching support for the planned mining of the mineral metal of Lithium in Ghana by Atlantic Lithium Ltd, a foreign Company through a subsidiary Company as Barari DV. This is to be done within the Constitutional provisions and the legal frameworks of Ghana for the benefit of the Company, the Country and the Communities of the catchment area before sodium which is abundant and cheaper to exploit becomes the preferred metal to lithium for renewal energy and for rechargeable batteries for electrical vehicles. 

 

Hon MPs, we should not forget that Africa has abundant sunshine for solar energy as a good source of renewal energy and some countries like Ghana, Burkina Faso, DRC have a lot of Hydrogen in Hydro system in the form of rivers for Hydroelectric power stations. Hence, these other sources of renewal energy suggest that the demand for lithium may not hit the roof as perceived due to its inflammable and other risks including corrosiveness when combined with Oxygen, as well as the environmental, society and political concerns.  

 

The issue that Barari DV is going to make more profit due to the state of the deal is totally not true. It must be noted that the Company used current prices or forecasts in the computation for the Capital Market. Price of lithium is not like gold it is volatile and can drop drastically due to alternatives, issue of demand due to the side effects.  Since the Mine is yet to start construction, acquire assets, meet cost of operation, so the cost may not be the same as in the paper work/calculation for presentation to the Capital Market to attract investors or for increasing the shares of Atlantic Lithium Ltd. 

 

It is also envisaged that the ownership of the Mine may change before 7years of operation, hence the Company is likely to make money from the Capital Market through the Shareholders and not the Mine. For this reason, Ghana should appreciate that it may get the lucrative opportunity to change the narrative in future with better laws on Royalties or participation. 

 

Hon MPs you need to bear in mind that gains were/are sometimes made from the activities of  parent Company of a Mine and not necessary from her mining business.  Some Exploration and Mining Companies raised funds without even mining an ounce of gold etc especially those registered with external Stock Markets. So gains from the Stock Market as well as stated Ghana will also gain in capacity building in lithium operations, making the Ghanaian miner a likely global miner or asset for lithium.

 

Once again let me add that we need to get Barari DV to start working in good time to enable the Company to list in the Ghana Stock Exchange for our fellow Nationals to buy some of the shares and make gains with the current price of lithium before a decline in the lithium market.

 

 Hon MPs, some of the persons who opposed the deal were found to be uninformed of the state of affairs of the massive contribution of the mining sector to the Ghana’s economy. They failed to appreciate that the Constitution of Ghana decreed all State revenue must be paid into the consolidated fund for national development. So, aside the Mineral Income Investment Fund which makes it easy to tell payments, usage or the total sum as at date, no other way for the determination of the direct contributions of the Mining Sector, aside checking from the Ghana Chamber of Mines to reveal the yearly massive amounts paid into the fund. 

 

A report from the Chamber of Mines indicated that over Ghc550 Million was paid in 2016 to the State and only a small amount of Ghc27millon was allocated to the District Assemblies of affected areas by the State and normally the affected District Assemblies do not use it for developmental work. Beside this payment, of Royalties etc, the contribution of Mining Sector in the supply chain and in the form of PAYE, to SSNIT Fund, VAT etc is massive. I hereby cite Mr Ibrahim Mahama of Engineers and Planners and Mr Ofori of Rocksure and their contribution to the economy of Ghana to drive my point home. Hence, the bashing of mining companies or sector is unfair

 Other persons based on the vast comparison of Johannesburg with Obuasi had they mistaken belief that the mining sector has not contributed much to the development of Ghana. Common sense will require that all things remain equal, so the comparison should be based on what was the situation in 1886 and in 1895 when Johannesburg and Obuasi respectively be came to the limelight as areas endowed with mines in Africa respectively.   

 

A check on the matter will reveal that gold was discovered in 1886 in Johannesburg by a farmer and Johannesburg had over 100,000 residents or indigene in that year who remained and invested their wealth in Johannesburg which together with the social, economic and political history (including the Apartheid system) matters caused the massive development of Johannesburg.    

 

On the other hand, Obuasi was a bushy area in 1895 and the Mine or gold was found in Obuasi in 1895 by immigrants, who sold the Obuasi Mine to a foreigner and took their money 100 percent out of Obuasi to the Central Region. Obuasi Mine was operated mainly by emigrants, most of them did not invest much in Obuasi.  

 

A clear example is the story that Dr Sam Jonah of Obuasi Mine also invested massively in Johannesburg like the indigenes of Johannesburg. Thus it speaks volume that the Socio-economic and Political history of Johannesburg contributed massive development of Johannesburg. So, Mining Companies cannot be blamed for the vast differences in the development between Johannesburg and Kumasi or Accra.    

 

 It is not true to say that Ghana has not benefited very much from mining. This maybe so in the colonial days but the narratives have changed with time and most recently in the Fourth Republic with the local content and local participation policies made Ghana to gain and will continue to gain massively from the Mining Sector in terms of massive employment, revenue, development, creation of wealthy persons example are Mr Ibrahim Mahama, Dr Sam Jonah, Mr Ofori of Rocksure International, Mr Dan Owiredu and others.

 

Another scholar of thought claimed that Ghana has accurate geodata of the minerals in Ghana. I wish to state this may not be true because the Geological Department of Ghana with limited resources only have information of occurrences of a particular mineral or group of minerals since the era of Gold Cost Colonial rule due to the work of George Ekem Ferguson a Fanti and others, and these results do not give the proven commercial quantity which is what the Market is interested in and this can be determined by Exploration which is very laborious and capital intensive. We also have credibility problem in reporting of details to the Market. 

 

The exploration is normally done by foreign Exploration Companies as result of the issues of integrity and credibility of the management.  Thus the Exploration Companies leverage their competency/intergrity in raising capital from the Stock Market and or gain a sponsorship by off taker(s) Deal.  Due to among others, the issue of credibility of the Ghanaian makes the situation very difficult for Ghana and or a Ghanaian Company to gain support from the Stock Market, unless fronting for a foreigner or foreign Company with international repute.

 Atlantic Lithium is supported by a Ghanaian legal firm, and they operated on the guidance of their lawyers within the laws of Ghana. Negotiation is by global standards and it was based on professional work that gave the draft deal between the Company and the State on the public domain.  So the deal is ok.

 Contrary to allegation that the Market always think very much of the repute of the Company, I wish to say that this may not be entirely true because the Market also considers caliber of the Management Team and the Board and not necessary how old a Company is but as stated the caliber of the people who formed or going to manage the Company is of interest to the Market. That was why some of us agitated for the change of the Finance Minister with the perception that the Market would responding favoruable to a new competent face for running the Finance Ministry.    So Atlantic Lithium Ltd  or Barari DV is a  company with good expertise including Mr Ahmed Adam Salim from Northern Ghana.

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