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In the view of the social gathering, mining has not benefited Ghana through the years therefore, the decision for an pressing evaluation of the legal guidelines. The NDC famous that the Lithium agreement signed by the Government of Ghana with Barari DV Ghana Limited just isn’t within the curiosity of Ghana.
An announcement issued by the National Communications Officer of the social gathering, Sammy Gyamfi stated the federal government ought to have extensively engaged all affected native communities, in addition to key stakeholders together with Civil society teams within the extractive sector, earlier than executing the settlement.
“Sadly, there was little or no engagement by the federal government with the affected native communities and key stakeholders within the processes resulting in the execution of the controversial lithium deal.
“The NDC believes that, all stakeholders in the extractive sector must have a say in the kind of law and model, under which our lithium and other green minerals should be exploited for the maximum benefit of the State,” the assertion stated…
Below is the total assertion…
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For Immediate Release
thirteenth December, 2023
NDC’S POSITION ON THE GHANA-BARARI DV LITHIUM DEAL
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has keenly adopted public discussions on the controversial Mining Lease Agreement executed between the Government of Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited, for the exploitation of Lithium and different related minerals within the Ewoyaa group of the Mfantseman Municipality of Ghana.
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After a meticulous scrutiny of the phrases of the Mining Lease Agreement, the NDC has come to the conclusion that the Ghana-Barari Lithium settlement just isn’t in the perfect curiosity of Ghana.
1. It is an incontrovertible fact, that mining hasn’t benefited us as a nation through the years. Hence, there may be the necessity for an pressing evaluation of the nation’s current mining legal guidelines and insurance policies, notably in relation to inexperienced minerals.
2. This is why the flag-bearer of the NDC, H.E John Dramani Mahama has promised to evaluation the legal guidelines that govern the extractive trade, to ensure that the nation to maximise her share and native participation within the exploitation of our pure assets.
3. The NDC holds the view, that the inexperienced minerals of the nation, shouldn’t be exploited primarily based on the prevailing mining legal guidelines and insurance policies, that are predominantly tailor-made for gold mining and haven’t benefited the nation through the years.
4. We are of the agency opinion, that it’s about time the prevailing colonial mannequin of mining lease concession agreements, was reviewed. New fashions for the exploitation of our mineral assets equivalent to Joint Ventures and Service Agreements, that present for equitable profit sharing, enhanced native participation and worth addition, must be thought-about as a part of the evaluation of the legal guidelines and insurance policies governing our extractive sector.
5. Our beloved nation urgently wants a reviewed mining regime, that gives for the sustainable funding and strengthening of the Ghana Geological Survey Authority, to have interaction in reconnaissance and prospecting, notably in relation to inexperienced minerals. We imagine that this, if supported by the Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) beneath the suitable coverage framework, will improve the bargaining energy of the state within the exploitation of our mineral assets.
6. It is for these causes, that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP authorities ought to have extensively engaged all affected native communities, in addition to key stakeholders together with CSOs within the extractive sector, earlier than executing the Barari-Lithium settlement. Sadly, there was little or no engagement by authorities with the affected native communities and key stakeholders within the processes resulting in the execution of the controversial lithium deal. The NDC believes that, all stakeholders within the extractive sector should have a say within the type of legislation and mannequin, beneath which our lithium and different inexperienced minerals must be exploited for the utmost good thing about the State.
7. Aside the elemental points enumerated above, there are particular germane points concerning the phrases of the Ghana-Barari DV lease settlement which might be value highlighting:
I) First and foremost, the requirement within the mining lease settlement for the institution of a chemical plant to course of our lithium regionally, could be very weak to say the least.
* We observe with concern, that beneath Schedule Two (2) of the lease settlement, the institution of a neighborhood chemical plant by the corporate just isn’t obligatory, however contingent on the conduct of a scoping examine to find out the financial viability of the processing of lithium in Ghana.
* Even extra worrying, is the truth that, paragraphs 1(b)(c) and (d) of schedule two (2) of the lease settlement, envisages the shortcoming of the corporate (Barari DV) to satisfy this requirement. This makes nonsense of the declare by authorities that no uncooked lithium will likely be exported from Ghana beneath the settlement.
II) Secondly, there aren’t any particular provisions within the mining lease that emphasize Ghana’s management over the lithium mining worth chain and the advantages thereof.
* In the extractive sector, the power of a rustic to optimize features from the worth chain is the surest approach of domesticating advantages.
* The NDC desires a deal that gives a transparent and unambiguous technique for maximizing the advantages of lithium mining via worth chain participation. There is due to this fact the necessity for obligatory necessities for the native processing of uncooked lithium earlier than it’s exported in another country and a 100% off-taker for the by-products thereof (i.e Feldspar, Silica, Kaolin and many others.) for native industries and manufacturing firms.
III) On the declare by authorities, that Barari DV will likely be paying company tax of 35% beneath the deal, it is crucial for presidency to make clear the standing of the corporate and supply the total details relative to concessions which have been granted the corporate.
*What the Mining Lease expressly supplies is that, Barari DV shall pay taxes in accordance with the mining legal guidelines of Ghana, with out extra.
* We are nonetheless advised that the Company is registered beneath the Ghana Free Zones Authority and is entitled to a 10-year tax holiday, when such tax concessions are ordinarily not granted to mining firms within the nation. This if true, will deprive the nation of company taxes through the first ten years of the Ewoyaa Lithium challenge. This will successfully restrict Ghana’s share to the paltry 10% royalty and marginal advantages from our 13% carried curiosity and the 6% fairness held by the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF).
* It is due to this fact crucial, for presidency to make clear the standing and tax obligation of Barari DV and its father or mother firm. Ghanaians should know whether or not or not the corporate is a free zone firm and why a mining firm must be accorded free zone standing. Ghanaians should know all of the concessions authorities is giving the corporate (Barari DV/Atlantic Lithium) for a holistic evaluation of the advantages of the deal.
* Beyond that, strict provisions on tax compliance and enforcement are required to make sure that the state just isn’t cheated via switch pricing and inventive accounting.
IV) It is essential to make the purpose, that authorities’s boastful declare about securing a ten% Royalty beneath the deal, is a celebration of mediocrity.
* It is worthy of observe, that the prevailing royalty price of 5% was primarily based on part 25 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 (ACT 703), which supplies for a royalty price of not lower than 3% and no more than 6%. This legislation was amended by the erstwhile NDC/Mahama authorities, way back to 2015 by ACT 900, which has made the Royalty price open-ended and topic to negotiations.
* Also, the prevailing trade royalty price of 5% pertains to the nation’s conventional minerals equivalent to gold, bauxite and many others. The Barari-Lithium settlement is the primary deal for the exploitation of a Green Mineral in Ghana. Therefore, evaluating the prevailing royalty price of 5% to a ten% royalty price for a Green Mineral like lithium, is an train in mediocrity.
* More importantly, we predict that authorities ought to have opted for a versatile vary of royalty price, which takes into consideration windfall revenue of the corporate. This royalty association has been adopted by Chile, which at present has a royalty price vary of 8% to 21% relying on sure variables. In comparable vein, the ten% royalty price secured by authorities might have been the baseline price, topic to upward adjustment in circumstances of windfall income or revenue by the corporate, if authorities had negotiated correctly.
V) Also, the requirement within the mining lease settlement for Barari DV or its father or mother firm, Atlantic Lithium, to checklist on the Ghana Stock Exchange, is problematic for a number of causes, together with the next;
● No particular time frame has been offered within the mining lease settlement for such itemizing.
● Listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) could not essentially profit Ghanaians as foreigners can make investments on the GSE and/or conceal behind Ghanaian fronts to purchase shares.
● Over the years, comparable preparations have largely benefited a couple of wealthy and highly effective Ghanaians and never the abnormal Ghanaian.
● Ghana’s personal earlier expertise with the itemizing of Anglogold Ashanti shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange, the place Ghanaians who bought shares utterly misplaced out, ought to awaken us to the truth that, itemizing on the Ghana Stock Exchange can go improper.
Suggestions for the Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) to accumulate the stated 11% Equity within the Ghana operations of the Barari DV, for and on behalf of the individuals of Ghana, is due to this fact value contemplating.
VI) These details utterly belie the declare by authorities, that Ghanaian participation within the Ewoyaa Lithium challenge will likely be 30%. Beyond Ghana’s Free Carried Interest of 13% and the wholly insufficient 6% Equity acquired by MIIF, there aren’t any particular provisions within the lease settlement that present with certainty, a Ghanaian participation price of 30% within the foreseeable future.
VII) Again, it’s attention-grabbing to notice, that beneath the shareholding construction of the corporate, there’s a 4.4% Equity within the title of “Previous Land Owners”. In the spirit of transparency, the NDC calls for a full disclosure of the identities of the Beneficial Owners of that 4.4% Equity and the way that was arrived at. Ghanaians should know who these “previous land owners” are.
8. In the face of all these pertinent points, notably, the non-existence of a feasibility report and a compulsory requirement for the native processing of our lithium assets, the NDC is of the view, that the Ghana-Barari Lithium deal just isn’t in the perfect curiosity of Ghana. Thus, the ratification of the Mining Lease settlement executed by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP Government, mustn’t even come up at this stage. It is our thought-about place, that Parliament mustn’t take into account the ratification of the Lease Agreement till all these pertinent points are satisfactorily addressed in the perfect curiosity of Ghanaians.
SAMMY GYAMFI ESQ.
(NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER)