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Lithium mining: Agreement is archaic, less likely to benefit Ghanaians

Former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo says the Lithium Mining Agreement signed between the Government of Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited will not be beneficial to Ghanaians.

According to her, the agreement is not different in principle from previous ones the country has signed up for.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra on Tuesday, November 28, Madam Akuffo expressed grave concerns while describing the contract as a ‘Guggisberg-type’ agreement.

“It is not different in principle in the substance from any of Ghana’s previous colonial times types of agreements, some call it the Guggisberg model, whatever description, all those agreements are colonial type of agreements, which over the years have yielded very little good to the overall benefit of the average Ghanaian.”

The former Chief Justice insisted that government must have sole ownership of mining resources to ensure that citizens benefit from it.

The concerns expressed by Sophia Akuffo follow a mining agreement signed on October 20, 2023, between Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited.

The $250-million project located at Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman Municipality in the Central Region, is expected to commence production by 2025.

The deal includes a 10 per cent royalty and 13 per cent free carried interest by the state, compared with the existing five per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, for other mining agreements.

In the deal, the Australia-based miner is further required to pay one per cent of its revenue into a community development fund to help uplift the mining area.

While some, including stateman and business executive Sir Sam Jonah, have lauded government for securing better fiscal terms for Ghana’s first lithium mine, many, especially the IEA, remain skeptical about the agreement.

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