Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has continued his staunch and relentless defense of the Ghana-Barari DV lithium agreement, revealing the key components of the deal that makes it unprecedented, Ghanaian-centered and an improvement from previous agreements.
Speaking at a forum organized by some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on the agreement on Friday, 15 December 2023, Hon. Jinapor took time to disclose key details about the deal, dispelling the false narratives , demystifying the myths around it and curing the political mischief which have generated following the deal.
He forcefully advanced the viewpoint that in the history of the country, never has any government signed a more profitable deal which has the interest of Ghanaians at its core.
The Minister explained the various clauses within the agreement, asserting his conviction that they signify a departure from the historically exploitative colonial approach to Ghana’s mineral resources. Hon. Jinapor says these clauses align with the government’s strategic direction, emphasizing value addition in the utilization of the country’s mineral wealth.
The Lands Minister mentioned the listing of Bavari DV on the Ghana Stock Exchange which allows for potential Ghanaian investment through the purchasing of shares, the obligation for local participation and the value addition clauses as key components of the deal that contrary to some assumptions, ensures that Ghanaian interests reign supreme in the exploitation of the lithium ore.
“This is the first time that by law, we have made provisions that this company will have to list on the Ghanaian Stock Exchange. They are also required to have a minimum of 30% Ghanaian participation. We already have 19% so we have 11% and it could be more. This arrangement is the number one factor which in my mind jettisons the colonial term of mining.
“The second one is value addition. We’ve always had export of raw materials but this is the first time we have signed a mining lease with clauses which states that they will have to retain a significant proportion of the value chain by establishing a technical plant and refinery here in Ghana. It has never happened before,” he said.
Armed with credible and relevant information from other countries, Hon. Jinapor, maintained that the lease agreement is the best the country could have negotiated.
“Australia accounts for 52% of global lithium production. Chile account for 25%. Zimbabwe is the largest lithium producing country in Africa and their grades are better than ours but when it comes to royalties, Australia pegs its at 5%, Mali pegs its 6% and Zimbabwe at 5%. The Ghana government has negotiated a 10% benefit which is twice Zimbabwe and Australia and 4% more than Mali,” he said.
He also refuted accusations that the deal has been shrouded in secrecy, explaining the transparency has been the hallmark of this deal and that the signing ceremony with an active media presence is enough indication of the commitment by the government to the tenets of transparency and accountability.
Whiles welcoming criticism and feedback from the public, Hon. Jinapor urged critics to propose alternative and better deals instead of outlandishly rubbishing the one signed by his outfit.
He assured Ghanaians that the government will continue to pursue strategies, policies and commitments that serves and protect the best interest of the country.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in October, signed the first-ever Lithium Lease Agreement with Lithium Atlantic, an Australian mining firm, for mining of the mineral at Ewoyaa in the Central Region meanwhile speaking on Joy Fm’s Super Morning show earlier on Friday, December 15th 2023, the Lands Minister used the platform to dismiss claims by a section of the public that the whole deal is being rushed stressing that “ government didn not rush in signing Atlantic Lithium agreement “, he maintained.